No, nothing to do with Paddy Shovlin who is biding his time in Earls Court ahead of his discharge from bankruptcy in May 2013. One of Northern Ireland’s wealthiest families has recently launched what is heralded as “one of the premier privateer race teams” which races Ferraris in European races. When they say “privateer” they’re referring to what the dictionary defines as “a competitor, esp in motor racing, who is privately financed rather than sponsored by a manufacturer” rather than officially sanctioned pirates.
Sorbus Racing features contributions from Peter and Shamus Jennings, the website saying “the father-son duo of Shamus and Peter Jennings bring the perfect mix of experience and youthful flair. A successful Go-karting background as well as a natural talent for track driving keeps the team at the front of the grid.” 2013 is the first season when the racing team will compete, The Jenningses feature amongst Northern Ireland’s wealthiest families and in 2010, Shamus Jennings was said to have been worth GBP 166m (€195m). Shamus is classified as being in “property”
In February 2013, the BBC reported that NAMA had placed an English shopping centre owned by a company controlled by Shamus and Francis Jennings.
There has been flurry of contacts received on here which complain about the Jenningses being in hock to NAMA and still racing about the place in Ferraris. But, just because a developer has loans in NAMA, doesn’t mean he is restrained in his personal life. Michael O’Flynn is a NAMA Top 10 developer but (a) it is understood his loans are amongst the 15% of NAMA loans that are performing and (b) Michael famously didn’t provide personal guarantees. So, it is possible that a loan may only be enforced against a specific property or against a specific limited liability company, which may leave individuals free to use their personal wealth in an unfettered manner and there is no evidence of the Jenningses having personal liability to NAMA. The NAMA chairman, Frank Daly has said “the jets, yachts, Bentleys or whatever are not supported by NAMA and in many cases we will insist they are sold by NAMA to reduce the level of indebtedness”
Still though, you’d have to wonder if the Jenningses were living on this side of the Border if NAMA would not be bringing pressure to bear to cut back on the Ferraris. In March 2012, it emerged at an Oireachtas Good Friday committee hearing that NAMA is more than three times more likely to foreclose on developers in the Republic than in Northern Ireland, though to be clear, there is no evidence that the Jenningses loans – other than the one relating to the Kendal Riverside shopping centre in northern England referred to above – are non-performing.