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Offaly football manager made secret profits, court is told

A SENIOR GAA manager faced court yesterday over allegations he and another man made "secret profits" amounting to several million euro from land deals.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said the case against Offaly football manager and auctioneer Richie Connor and Gerard Kilally, of Gerard Killally Auctioneers, involved "serious allegations".

The plaintiffs have claimed that Mr Kilally and Mr Connor, acted as negotiators and agents and made secret profits from various land deals which were not disclosed to the partnerships the two auctioneers had set up with the plaintiffs.

Damages

Three businessmen, Adrian Daly, of Racefield House, Cappincur, Tullamore; Declan Guing of Carrick Road, Edenderry; and Frank Lawlor of Clonmullen Lodge, Edenderry, are seeking damages in the Commercial Court against Mr Connor and Mr Killally.

They alleged negligence, misrepresentation, breach of duty, breach of contract and are also seeking an inquiry for damages for alleged unjust enrichment.

Mr Connor, who captained the Offaly footballers to a famous victory over Kerry in the 1982 All-Ireland final was appointed manager of the county team for a three-year term last month.

He has addresses at Walsh Islands, Tullamore and Rath, Ballybrittas, Co Laois.

Mr Kilally has an address at Shean, Edenderry, Co Offaly.

One of the claims relates to the Daingean Road Partnership formed in 2005 between Mr Guing, Mr Lawlor and the defendants to acquire and deal in lands at Cappincur, Tullamore. It is claimed the partnership was to acquire those lands for €6.5m from another party after being told this was the best price available.

Mr Kilally and Mr Connor did not disclose they had an interest in the land and concealed the true nature of the transaction, the plaintiffs have claimed. The pair are alleged to have conducted a series of secret transactions whereby the lands were initially sold for €5m, delivering them a secret profit of €1.5m. A second claim relates to the Downshire partnership, allegedly formed in 2005 between Mr Guing, Mr Lawlor and the defendants to acquire and deal in lands at Downshire, Edenderry.

It is claimed those lands were to be acquired for €11.5m. It is alleged the defendants failed to disclose they had an interest in this transaction, another party had received €9.5m for the lands and the defendants were making a secret profit of €2m.

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The plaintiffs also claim Mr Kilally and Mr Connor made a secret profit in relation to other lands.

These lands were to be acquired for €2.25m by yet another partnership made between all three plaintiffs and the defendants, called the Stateridge Partnership.

Transferred

It is claimed the lands were transferred to associates of the two auctioneers without the plaintiffs' full and proper knowledge and consent.

Unknown to the plaintiffs, a 1.1-acre portion of the Stateridge lands was carved out of the relevant land folio to form part of another folio registered in the names of associates of Mr Kilally and Mr Connor, it is alleged. The plaintiffs claim a secret profit was also made by them from that transaction.

A fourth aspect of the claim relates to a Dublin Road partnership, formed between the plaintiffs and defendants to acquire and deal in lands at Dublin Road, Edenderry. It is claimed the lands were to be acquired for €10.1m from one of two specified parties.


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