Wednesday 21 February 2018

Tycoon was worth €350m before his fall from grace

Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

LAOIS-born developer Paddy Kelly was worth an estimated €350m at the height of the boom.

But like many of his fellow builders, that wealth has now all but disappeared.

Last year, as Mr Kelly's financial woes spilled into the Four Courts, he and his wife Maureen moved from the exclusive Shrewsbury Road into a more modest pile in Dublin 4's Morehampton Road.

Earlier this year, Mr Kelly reached an agreement with ACC Bank on €16m he owed to the lender.

The settlement was made after the courts found he and his three children were liable to repay a sum of €16m to ACC Bank.

The builder got a taste for property development with his brothers in the 1960s. His first big buy was Castletown House in Co Kildare. The 60-acre demesne was one of Ireland's first big houses, an 18th-Century mansion.


Investments across Dublin followed, including exclusive developments in Booterstown and Monkstown.

He refused to get involved in the disastrous €412m investment in the former Irish Glass Bottle Site, claiming the property party was already over in 2006.

It is understood a number of his key projects prompted his financial woes. The first was Tulfarris House and Golf Resort, located on the shores of the Blessington lakes in Co Wicklow.

Anglo Irish Bank appointed a receiver to the main company behind Tulfarris at the end of 2009. But not before its borrowing had exceeded €22m in 2006.

He also encountered difficulties in investments abroad. An involvement in a €1bn project in Florida is now years beyond schedule. And an expensive development at Pragelato, near Turin in Italy, is also understood to have underperformed badly.

In a recent interview, Mr Kelly said he didn't care if he was declared bankrupt, adding his fall from grace was "just circumstances".

Irish Independent

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