Archive for October 14th, 2012

On Friday last, the Independent opined that NAMA was taking its time in selling Tom McFeely’s former home at 2 Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4 because of what that paper would dearly love to believe, that there is a bounce in south Dublin property prices. It seems however that there is another reason why NAMA mightn’t have yet moved to market the €10m property which was seized in August 2012 on foot of a High Court repossession order – Tom McFeely is seemingly appealing the seizure in a court case which is set for  mention on Monday 22nd October 2012 – the matter is not yet in the Legal Diary of the Courts Service, but is referred to in the Listing in case reference 2012/129 CA.

NAMA had already faced, and overcome, difficult hurdles in ultimately getting possession of the property in August 2012. Tom McFeely’s wife, Nina had pressed for a deferral in the actual repossession for a year to allow their teenaged son to complete his Leaving Certificate studies. NAMA had expressed concern at the apparent lack of insurance at the property, and after a drawn-out battle over several months across the Circuit Court and High Court, NAMA eventually moved in with the Dublin Sheriff on 10th August 2012 to change locks and install its own security.

It was almost exactly a year ago when Tom McFeely’s incarnation as failed property developer was catapulted into the national headlines when the whole sorry Priory Hall mess reached the courts. “You couldn’t build a snowman”, the distraught residents shouted at the developer in the precincts of the Hight Court as it became clear that their Tom McFeely-built Priory Hall complex in Donaghmede, north Dublin was a fire hazard, in which inter-apartment firewalls were deficient. The 250-odd residents were forcibly evacuated and have since been left in Limbo as Homebond and Dublin City Council have passed the buck over the cost of repairs and temporary rehousing, and Tom McFeely himself has been declared bankrupt, first in the UK where the bankruptcy was overturned, and then in Ireland. He narrowly avoided jail when the Supreme Court overturned a High Court imprisonment order, and three weeks ago, he was remanded on bail until this coming Tuesday, 16th October 2012 on foot of a €24,000 debt owing to recruitment and personnel company MCR.

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Of the Week…

Debt statistic of the Week

€7m, the average bank loan hanging over every single Irish hotel

The former Minister for Finance, the late Brian Lenihan’s stuffee to the board of the “independent” Central Bank of Ireland, Alan Ahearne was behind a report for the Irish Hotels Federation during the week which highlighted the debt problems facing Irish hotels. The report concluded that, in total, Irish hotels owe €6.7bn to the banks, including NAMA, which works out at an average of €7.4m for each of the 900-odd hotels operating in the State.

Table of the Week

The Department of Finance published a useful compendium of economic facts during the week. It included the average price of an average home from 1971, a series of data compiled by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. It is the longest such series in existence in Ireland and the Department has recently signalled it intends keeping it, even if it is only based on mortgages, is issued six months in arrears and best of all is a simple average or mean of property transactions – in other words, no account is taken of type of property sold or the mix of properties sold in any period.  The Central Bank of Ireland published a report on property prices earlier this week which adopted the same average approach, which concluded that actual prices for non-Dublin property is presently 46% less than the asking price!

P45 of the Week

The stultifyingly bore, Senator David Norris has just had a book published which predictably includes the personal pronoun “I” in practically every sentence – yes, it’s an autobiography, but still. The dapper senator covers his entire career including that part for which he will probably always be best remembered, his valiant and tenancious16-year fight for gay equality culminating in victory at the European Court of Human Rights. There’s the odd vignette to liven up proceedings, including the senator’s spell as a restaurant critic at the Sunday Tribune, a spell put to an end by then-editor of the Sunday Tribune, Vincent Browne who terminated the senator’s column with a note which read

“Dear David,

When I gave you the job of restaurant critic six months ago you protested that you knew nothing about food and wine, and I didn’t believe you then; I do now.



Graphic of the Week

It just goes from bad to worse for former NAMA employee Enda Farrell whose case with NAMA was back in the Commercial Court this week. It seems that since October 2011, Enda had been sending emails, attaching what NAMA says was confidential information, to his wife at Ernst and Young, with his wife, Alice Kramer, forwarding the emails to a personal Yahoo account, a circuitous scheme which NAMA claims was to avoid the detection software used by the NTMA which would flag an email send to a free email account like Yahoo. According to the Sunday Times, Enda’s employment with Forum Partners has been terminated and wife, Alice Kramer has resigned from Ernst and Young. What does the future hold for Enda and Alice? Difficult to say, but the immediate future looks bleak. Japlandic interpreted their plight in their own inimitable way above.

(Graphic above produced by Japlandic.com, contact here)

Parade of the Week

Prepare for the national rending of garments at the moral dilemmas generated by the second Quinn rally tomorrow afternoon from 4pm. About 4,000 attended the rally during the summer and you can expect a similar number tomorrow. For those of you who can see beyond the pantomime, you might be interested in a balanced view of the Quinn impact on the national psyche here.

A parade which won’t get as much attention was the Priory Hall rally earlier today when 1,000 people including many of the 250 residents of the troubled development in north Dublin marched to highlight the fact that a year after being forcibly evacuated from their homes in the Tom McFeely-developed complex, they still don’t have a fixed return date. Dublin City Council has reportedly spent €2m trying to make the development safe and the evacuated residents are still in Limbo as regards the significant costs in the matter.

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