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McNamara admits 'head is on a plate' with 31.5bn in debts

Developer Bernard McNamara is ready to move out of his Ailesbury Road mansion and put everything on the line as he faces personal ruin with debts of €1.5bn.

The man, once estimated to be worth more than €1bn, who yesterday celebrated his 60th birthday, has admitted his "head is on a plate".

He has told the High Court he would not appeal an order to repay loans towards the buying of the controversial €412m former Irish Glass Bottle (IGB) site at Ringsend in Dublin.

The former Fianna Fail councillor has admitted he is "prepared to take the full consequences" of a €62.5m court-ordered debt which arose from a personal guarantee action related to the IGB site -- the largest personal guarantee action to come before the Irish courts.

Emotional

McNamara's family home is at risk from the sequence of events. The house at Ailesbury Road in Dublin, registered in the names of Mr McNamara and his wife Moira, was bought in 1998 for €2.95m.

In an emotional interview with RTE's Mary Wilson, McNamara said he was "broke". He added that property developers were now "pariahs" but he was not ashamed of anything he had done and "I will be there if they want to come and get me".

He said he would be willing to move out of his Ailesbury Road mansion, settling for a smaller home or a "campsite in Clare".

Within hours of the ruling, the Clare-born tycoon resigned from Michael McNamara & Company, the hugely successful construction firm that he inherited from his father.

He insisted that Michael McNamara & Company was a legally separate and profitable entity unaffected by the High Court judgment.

The developer has already told the court that all of his personal assets have been used to shore up his businesses.

He had offered to pay €100,000 a month off the summary judgment but the offer was rejected as "paltry" by the investors given the amount owed.

The court heard McNamara is no longer a person of significant net worth and his position was getting worse every day.

McNamara, in a parting shot in his RTE interview, said that it was terrible to see the decimation that has taken place in Irish society. Now, more than ever, we needed an inquiry as to why it had.

csheehy@herald.ie


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