Today in the pressFriday 18 July 2014 08.58
BANKS SEEK TO SEIZE SEAN DUNNE’S FORMER HOME – The Irish Times reports that Bank of Scotland has asked a US court for permission to enforce its interest in the former Dublin home of bankrupt developer Sean Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea Dunne to recover a debt of €12 million.
The British bank wants Connecticut’s bankruptcy court to drop the protection from creditors granted to Mr Dunne under US bankruptcy law so it can seize and sell the couple’s one-time home, “Ouragh” on Shrewsbury Road, one of Dublin’s most exclusive residential addresses.
Ben Groves, a manager in the bank’s “global non-core Ireland unit,” told the court that Bank of Scotland (Ireland) loaned Mr Dunne €7 million for the house in 2002 and a further €5 million in 2007.
He said in an affidavit that Mr Dunne had conceded that he had no equity left in the property. Mr Groves told the court the house was worth about €4 million based on a valuation carried out last month.
Mr Dunne valued the house at €7.5 million in financial statements to the court when he filed for bankruptcy in March 2013 owing €690 million, mostly to Ulster Bank and National Asset Management Agency.
WEXFORD-BASED FIRM GETS €15M FROM JERSEY FRAUD – The Irish Independent reports that the family behind Wexford-based Nolan Transport has been awarded almost €15m by a Jersey court after they fell victim to fraud when they invested in a raft of investments sold by a businessman.
The court described Irishman Gerard Walsh, who induced the Nolan family to invest in the schemes, as a "fraudster" and noted his own business empire collapsed in 2009.
One company which Mr Walsh was behind, Arkaga, at one time controlled Cork City FC.
Between 2005 and 2006, the Nolan family had stuffed a total of €15m into eight schemes presented to them by Mr Walsh as investment opportunities in an array of assets including German nursing homes, a ferry company, a TV production firm, and IT businesses.
But the investments were all destined to fail badly.
The judgment in the Nolans' favour has been secured against Jersey firm Minerva Trust, which was deemed liable for handling the administrative affairs of a complicated structure of companies known as the Buchanan Group, which was ultimately controlled by Mr Walsh.
FORMER FINANCE HEAD WILL WAIT TO TAKE UP NEW ROLE – The Irish Examiner reports that former secretary-general at the Department of Finance, John Moran, will take at least three months gardening leave before he is clear to take up a new position.
Mr Moran still has a number of speaking engagements, including an appearance at the Magill Summer School next week. He is scheduled to speak next Wednesday in a session called, ‘Our economy — the threats to its recovery from within and without.’
Fellow panellists include ex-Central Bank director, Fiona Muldoon and chairman of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, John McHale.
A spokesman for the Department said Mr Moran accepted the invitation to speak at Magill before he resigned from the position of secretary general.
Mr Moran has so far not commented on whether he has lined up a new position.
He announced on May 7 that he had tendered his resignation, having been in the position for just over two years, although he would remain in situ until a replacement had been found.
Mr Moran was replaced by Derek Moran, who was previously assistant secretary general at the department. His official first day was yesterday.