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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Thousands of apartments will be evacuated, claims McFeely

Developer Tom McFeely
Developer Tom McFeely

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THOUSANDS of apartments will be evacuated in Dublin and throughout Ireland when "the truth emerges," developer Tom McFeely has claimed.

The Priory Hall developer has claimed in a challenge to his bankruptcy that when the "true position emerges" in relation to Priory Hall, other apartment complexes would have to be closed.

"Everything will utterly change," the former IRA hunger striker has told the High Court.

Mr McFeely, who claims he is broke and "oppressed", made the startling claims during his appeal against his bankruptcy.

Mr McFeely recently discharged his Dublin legal team and is representing himself in the "show cause" challenge at the High Court.

Mr McFeely, who was made a bankrupt in the UK earlier this year, told the High Court that he was "nervous" about appearing in court, even though he had "been around a long time".

Last July Mr McFeely's UK bankruptcy was successfully challenged by Dubliner Theresa McGuinness who is owed more than €100,000 by Mr McFeely.

High Court Judge Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne had declared Mr McFeely a bankrupt after ruling that his centre of main interest (COMI) was in the Republic of Ireland and not the UK.

This afternoon Mr McFeely told Judge Dunne that "snide remarks" in relation to Priory Hall were not relevant to his COMI and accused Ms McGuinness of "forum shopping" by challenging his UK bankruptcy.

"All these remarks (about Priory Hall) are historical, that's fine," said Mr McFeely who denied building Priory Hall.

The condemned apartment block was built by Coalport Building Company Limited and not Tom Mc Feely, he said.

"I am one of two developers in Priory Hall and the other developer has not been mentioned," said Mr McFeely.

Mr McFeely said his COMI was not in Ireland and claimed that he had not earned a living in Ireland "for years" because of the impact of the recession on the construction industry.

"Everybody knows that there isn't any place in Ireland for builders or developers over the last five years," he told the High Court.

Mr McFeely said the only reason Ms McGuinness sought his bankruptcy in Ireland was to give him more punishment than he already had.

"The only thing that really needs to be defined here is where I earned my living over the past number of years," Mr McFeely told the High Court.

Mr McFeely took issue with the fact that it had been revealed in earlier proceedings that his children attended private schools in Dublin.

"Does somebody have a problem with my children attending decent schools or can somebody tell me what it has to do with my COMI?" asked Mr McFeely.

"This is just a snide remark," he said.

"Honest to God, at the moment I am not a wealthy person. I am oppressed, I can't afford it (to go to court)," he told Judge Dunne.

Judge Dunne told Mr McFeely that he was "confined" to his affidavit (sworn court papers) after he made certain allegations against Ms McGuinness that were not contained in his original statement grounding his bankruptcy appeal.

Mr McFeely has accused Ms McGuinness of a series of "lies" including claims that he had earned a living in Ireland in the last number of years.

Mr McFeely claimed that he had produced a UK driving licence that was treated "as a stroke" from the time he was living in Manchester with a niece and other family members.

He wants to cross examine Ms McGuinness, but Judge Dunne told the developer that he had failed to bring an application to do so.

"I didn't think it was ever too late for justice," said Mr McFeely who accepted that he had to serve notice on Ms McGuinness if he wanted to quiz her about her evidence.

Mr McFeely also complained that he was a victim of "bigotry".

"The fact that I am from the North of Ireland should not matter at all," said Mr McFeely who said he had not witnessed such "sheer bigotry" against him, not even in Northern Ireland.

The case continues

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