Wednesday 24 January 2018

Owner of €1m house on €218 social welfare a week, court told

Ray Managh

A LANDLORD and insurance broker with a €1m home in one of Ireland's most exclusive enclaves is drawing €218 a week social welfare, a court was told yesterday.

A judge yesterday granted Ulster Bank Ireland possession of the €1m-plus house in Dalkey, Co Dublin, against Mr Martin Kelly and his partner Ms Lynette Mann.

Barrister Lydia Bunni, counsel for the bank, told Judge Joseph Mathews at Dublin Circuit Court, that Mr Kelly owed Ulster Bank €56,000.

The arrears were for 11 Claddagh, Bailey View, Dalkey, and since 2008 Mr Kelly had reneged on agreements to maintain payments and clear or reduce arrears.

Ms Bunni told the court the mortgage outstanding on No 11 had reached €1.16m. She handed the judge a statement of Mr Kelly's and Ms Mann's affairs, which revealed one or both of them owned five other properties, at least one of which was worth more than €1m.

She told the court they included a holiday home in Rooskey, Roscommon, where Mr Kelly and Ms Mann resided; No 1 Pilot View, Dalkey; Bank House, Clonskeagh, Dublin; and 14 Old Dock, Christchurch, Dublin.

Joseph Mc Donagh, solicitor for Mr Kelly and Ms Mann, told the judge that a company owned by the couple had just sold a house in Pearl Valley, South Africa, for the equivalent of €700,000. The purchaser was awaiting confirmation of a mortgage but when the deal was completed by the end of January next, Mr Kelly expected to have equity of about €350,000 which would more than clear up his arrears.

Mr Mc Donagh said there was equity only in two of the couple's properties and the remainder were in negative equity. The judge said Mr Kelly owned two houses that were each worth more than €1m, yet he was drawing social welfare. If Mr Kelly sold one of his properties he could resolve his problems. Mr Kelly seemed to be a victim of the tiger era, being asset rich but strapped for cash, the judge added. He granted the bank possession of No 11, Claddagh, Bailey View, Dalkey, but said he would throw Mr Kelly a lifeline.

"He is haemorrhaging money but I will grant him a five- month stay on the court order in the hope he can staunch the flow," judge Mathews said.

He told Ms Bunni the bank would win either way.

If the South African sale went through they would get their money and if not they would still have the property.

Irish Independent

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