Today in the pressTuesday 03 September 2013 10.56
JUDGE REJECTS ‘BIAS' ALLEGATION IN O'DONNELL BANKRUPTCY - A High Court judge yesterday rejected claims he was biased when considering Bank of Ireland’s application to have solicitor Brian O’Donnell and his psychiatrist wife, Mary Patricia, declared bankrupt. Mr Justice Peter Charleton said both his privacy and constitutional rights had been breached after a member of the O’Donnell family said publicly in court that the judge has a Bank of Ireland mortgage, write the Irish Times. The disclosure was made after the judge had been told the O’Donnells were seeking to have his decision to adjudicate them bankrupt deemed a mistrial. He dismissed the application and said that seeking to have his ruling set aside simply because he did his family banking with Bank of Ireland was “frankly absurd”. Last month, Mr Justice Charleton declared the O’Donnells bankrupt. In a reserved judgement, he found that the couple’s main centre of interest was Ireland and not England as they had claimed. Bank of Ireland had applied to have the couple declared bankrupt when they failed to satisfy a judgement for €71.57 million obtained against them by the bank in December 2011 after they had failed to repay loans. When the matter returned before the court yesterday, Conan Fegan, for the O’Donnells, said his instructing solicitors, McNamee McDonnell Duffy, of Newry, Co Down, wished to come off-record and no longer represent the couple. There had been a breakdown in relations between the parties, counsel said.
HERATY ACTED AS ADVISOR TO FIND NEW BOSS OF ENTERPRISE IRELAND - Former Anglo Irish Bank non-executive director Anne Heraty acted as external adviser to Enterprise Ireland on recruitment of the state agency's new chief executive, the Irish Independent has learned. It is understood to be the first public-sector role for Ms Heraty, the boss of recruitment firm CPL, since she resigned from the boards of state-owned Bord na Mona and Forfas in 2009, as well as the board of the Irish Stock Exchange in the wake of the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank. Ms Heraty was one of five non-executive directors who resigned from the board of Anglo Irish Bank just before it was formally taken into State hands following a bailout by taxpayers. In recent weeks, Ms Heraty was part of a panel put together by the Public Appointments Service - an agency that manages recruitment of senior public-sector staff - to oversee the recruitment of a new head of Enterprise Ireland. A spokesman for the Public Appointments Service said Ms Heraty was brought in as the independent member of a five-member panel handling the recruitment process for Enterprise Ireland.
STRIPE AVAILABLE TO IRISH FIRMS - A global credit card payment service founded by two young Irish millionaire brothers is to be made available to Irish firms from today, reports the Irish Examiner. Stripe was founded by Limerick natives Patrick and John Collison in 2010. Its goal was to make it easier to build a business on the internet. Since then, it has grown rapidly and is now processing millions of euros worth of transactions for large web companies including Reddit, Grooveshark, and Foursquare. Stripe’s promoters say it is the quickest and easiest way to accept card payments on websites and mobile apps. Earlier this month, the business was launched in Britain. It is also available in the US and Canada. The company attracted investors including PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, and Elon Musk, and venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz. Earlier this year, Patrick and John Collison were named in The Sunday Times’s Irish Rich List with a €59m holding in Stripe. Just over five years ago, the brothers shared a €3m windfall after they sold their fledgling internet firm, Auctomatic.
ANGLO IRISH BANK'S ART COLLECTION GOES UNDER THE HAMMER - Ireland’s largest liquidation sale begins in earnest on Tuesday when the art collection of the former Anglo Irish Bank goes under the hammer at Adam’s fine arts auctioneers in Dublin, writes the Financial Times. The modest corporate collection is expected to fetch up to €200,000 - a tiny fraction of the €30 billion that the bank is expected to cost Irish taxpayers following its collapse. But it paves the way for the sale of the bank’s property, corporate and mortgage loan books, which were originally worth €22 billion. The sale will have consequences for NAMA, Ireland’s state-owned bad bank, which will assume ownership of any unsold loans, and ultimately for taxpayers. It will also test investor appetite for Irish assets as the country prepares to exit its international bailout in December.“There is fantastic global interest from different continents in the assets for sale,” says Kieran Wallace, the KPMG liquidator appointed by the Irish government. “Private equity, sovereign wealth funds, people in the same sectors looking at acquisitions, individuals - all types of people are interested.” The most expensive item up for auction from the art collection is an oil painting by London-born Stephen McKenna. Baskets and Vessels has a guide price of €8,000-12,000. Other notable works are by artists Sean Scully and Felim Egan.