Reporting this morning in the Irish Examiner suggests that another developer has received NAMA’s approval and joins a small band of developers currently working with the Agency. Bovale Developments, the company controlled by the Bailey brothers from Roscommon, Michael and Thomas – or plain old Mick and Tom – owns substantial land-banks in and around Dublin and in an audit statement to accompany unpublished accounts for what is a private company which is reported today, it is stated that NAMA has approved Bovale’s business plan. The Bailey brothers were controversially implicated in the Flood Tribunal of having made payment to disgraced Fianna Fail politician Ray Burke in return for planning permission favours. It was alleged that Michael Bailey paid IR£ 40,000 to Ray Burke and when asked by an associate whether or not a receipt might be forthcoming, is said to have replied with the immortal words “will we fuck”
On the basis of the reporting today, the Drowned and the Saved of the NAMA Top 30 developers is being updated below.
It should be said that NAMA has approved business plans for other developers, eg the Grehan brothers, Ray and Danny, but has subsequently taken high-profile enforcement action, so business plan approval is not necessarily a guarantee that there won’t be a falling out in the future. And it seems that Bovale is far from healthy with unquantified losses reported for the years ending June 2010 and June 2011, and the audit statement makes clear that the company’s liabilities exceed the company’s assets.
The NAMA Top 30 above is a list of developers suggested by newspaper reporting and there has not been any confirmation or denial by NAMA that any individual or group is amongst the largest-scale borrowers at the Agency. There has also been reporting which indicates NAMA is working with developers not categorised above, eg Gerry Gannon whose 49% share in the K Club was recently sold to Michael Smurfit and Castlelands Construction which was recently reported to have sold a 450-acre land-bank beside Cork city for €7m. NAMA is understood to have funded the development of residential property at the Dun Laoghaire golf club which is controlled by the Cosgraves. Just a fortnight ago, it was reported that NAMA was funding the development of the Charlestown shopping centre in Finglas which is reportedly controlled by Bovale. And on the negative side, NAMA has taken possession of an art collection formerly belonging to Noel Smyth, though the Square shopping centre in Tallaght which is Noel’s flagship Irish development has received support from NAMA. The Courtney O’Reilly receivership relates to involvement in Bernard McNamara’s Radora Development and its development at Elm Park.