Thomas McFeely declared bankrupt in Ireland

Monday 30 July 2012 21.51
Thomas McFeely had claimed his main interests were in the UK
Thomas McFeely had claimed his main interests were in the UK

Property developer Thomas McFeely has been adjudicated a bankrupt in Ireland.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne ruled that Mr McFeely's centre of main interest was in the Republic of Ireland and not the UK as he had claimed.

Mr McFeely was declared bankrupt in the UK earlier this year, but his bankruptcy was challenged by Dublin woman Theresa McGuinness, to whom he owes more than €100,000.

The UK court rescinded the bankruptcy decision after it found Mr McFeely failed to reveal that he was the subject of bankruptcy proceedings in Ireland.

The High Court held a hearing last week on where Mr McFeely's centre of main interest was situated.

Ms McGuinness argued that Mr McFeely had lived and traded in Dublin for 20 years and his companies were registered at an address on Holles Street.

She said his home address was at Ailesbury Road in Dublin and this was also where his wife and two youngest children lived.

In an affidavit sworn in circuit court proceedings, his wife, Nina McFeely said that she had lived with her husband there since 2001 although he had spent time in England.

Ms McGuinness also argued that he had continued to be involved in his company Coalport, which is registered in Ireland, and that he owed significant debts to NAMA - around €200 million.

She said that in company documents filed by him in the UK in the past few years, Mr McFeely declared himself to be Irish and living in Ireland.

Mr McFeely, who was born in Derry, claimed he was a British citizen and had been living in London since 2009.

Miss Justice Elizabeth Dunne said she was not impressed with the level of information supplied to Ms McGuinness by Mr McFeely.

The judge said Mr McFeely's claim to have lived full-time in London since 2009 was contradicted by the affidavit of his wife and by other company documents filed in the UK.

She said he had not listed his Irish bank accounts in the UK bankruptcy proceedings and had not mentioned the fact that he was involved in legal proceedings in Ireland.

The judge said the only logical conclusion was that his centre of main interest was in Ireland and she adjudicated Mr McFeely a bankrupt.

His lawyers indicated they intended to appeal her decision.

Mr McFeely was not in court.

A warrant for his arrest has already been issued by the Dublin District Court after he failed to comply with an order to pay instalments on a debt of just over €24,000 to MCR Personnel, a company that specialises in recruiting for construction firms.

NAMA has been granted a possession order over the house on Ailesbury Road and Mr McFeely's family were given until tomorrow to move out.

The Supreme Court is also due to give its judgment on Mr McFeely's appeal against a three-month prison sentence imposed by the High Court for failing to fix fire safety problems at the Priory Hall development in north Dublin.