Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ACC Bank secures €33m judgment against developer - Clonmel Property mentioned in case-The Irish Times


ACC BANK has secured summary judgment for almost €33 million against a Dublin businessman arising from unpaid property loans.

The bank had brought two sets of Commercial Court proceedings against John Walsh, Tinnahinch, Plunkett Avenue, Westminster Road, Foxrock, arising from property loans and a guarantee provided by him and others over loans to a property company, Marydean Properties Ltd.

The bank sought summary judgment for €30.2 million against Mr Walsh in the first set of proceedings arising from a facility under which ACC refinanced existing borrowings with Anglo Irish Bank relating to lands at Termonfeckin, Co Louth, and Ballyboghil, Co Dublin.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told yesterday by Damien Keaney, for Mr Walsh, that while no defence was being offered, his client was seeking a stay on judgment because of negotiations related to the sale of the affected property.

Mr Justice Kelly granted the application by Rossa Fanning, for ACC, but agreed to place a three-week stay. Mr Fanning did not object to the stay.

In the second case, ACC sought €2.67 million summary judgment against Mr Walsh on foot of his alleged 2005 guarantee of loans to Marydean to acquire and refurbish commercial investment properties at Gladstone Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Mr Keaney initially said his client contended he had a defence to that claim in circumstances where a solicitor for Mr Walsh had written to the bank revoking guarantees prior to ACC issuing its demand for repayment. An English court of appeal decision provided authority for that defence, counsel added.

Mr Justice Kelly said such a defence “is news to me” and it appeared to be an interesting proposition that a person could enter a guarantee “and walk away” from it.

He adjourned the issue to yesterday afternoon when Mr Keaney indicated he was no longer pursuing that defence.

In those circumstances, judgment for the €2.67 million was entered.

The €30 million claim arose from a €26.6 million loan facility, plus interest roll-up of €3.19 million, extended to Mr Walsh and two other men in January 2008 relating to property at Termonfeckin, Co Louth, and Ballyboghil, Co Dublin.

The site at Drogheda Road, Termonfeckin, had planning permission for a new village centre and residential units but ACC said it became apparent soon after draw-down of the loan a build-out of the site was not commercially viable because the property market had deteriorated.

The loan was also made for a medium-term development of some 172 acres at Ballboghil made up of two acres zoned residential and 170 acres zoned agricultural.

The borrowers were actively involved in negotiations with a local GAA club to participate in a land swap that was expected to provide an opportunity to begin development of the area zoned residential, the bank said. No progress was made in relation to a formal agreement in that regard, the bank believed.

In separate proceedings yesterday, ACC also secured summary judgment for €2.67 million against Richard Murphy, Oak House, Hainault Road, Foxrock, Dublin, arising from the alleged guarantees provided in 2005 by Mr Murphy, Mr Walsh and others related to the loan to Marydean. Mr Murphy offered no defence to the claim.

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