Poor old Bernard was one of the first mega property developers to admit he had problems back at the start of 2010. Since then, the banks have been working through his outstanding loans. Receivers have since been appointed by the banks to his properties. In the past three months, three of Bernard’s hotels – the Burlington in Dublin, the Parknasilla in Kerry and the Cork International – have all been put up for sale. At NAMA too where Bernard is understood to be a Top 10 developer, the Agency has foreclosed on his loans, including loans on the former Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend in Dublin and the Elm Park development in Ballsbridge. And the last we heard of Bernard was that he was carving out a new fortune in Nigeria – it should be said that the McNamara company operating in Nigeria has played down Bernard’s involvement and it is unclear if he is currently has any formal role in the Nigerian business. And that was that.
However yesterday in Dublin’s High Court, NAMA made an application against the Clare developer personally. The sole applicant in the matter – case reference 2012/3412 S – is National Asset Loan Management Limited which is represented by Irish legal powerhouse Arthur Cox solicitors. The sole respondent is Bernard McNamara personally. As is usual in recently filed cases there is no solicitor on record for the respondent.
In the past, NAMA has taken legal action against individuals to enforce personal guarantees or to secure personal judgments, but it should be stressed that we do not know if either of these objectives lies behind the current application. NAMA generally doesn’t comment on individual legal cases.
So far this year, NAMA has launched 22 separate actions in Dublin’s High Court and has been on the receiving end of six.