Cullen challenges €29m claim by Nama
A businessman whose properties include the Turk’s Head Bar and Paramount Hotel in Temple Bar, both in Dublin, has argued he has a defence to the National Assets Management Agency’s claim for €29 million judgment against him over outstanding development loans.
David Cullen now lives in London and has filed for bankruptcy there, with a hearing listed for April. Mr Justice Peter Kelly ruled last month that those proceedings did not mean Irish courts could not deal with Nama’s application to recover the €29 million.
The claim arises after Nama took over loans in 2010 that had been advanced by Bank of Ireland from 2002 to Mr Cullen.
Mr Justice Kelly yesterday heard arguments on whether Mr Cullen was entitled to a full plenary hearing over the matter. Martin Hayden SC, for Mr Cullen, argued that National Assets Loan Management (Nalm), a Nama company, was not the correct plaintiff in the case as the loans had been transferred to Nama. While that was “a technical position”, his side were entitled to argue it. If successful, the issue of whether his client got the benefit of the loans and was obliged to repay them would not then arise, he said.
Mr Hayden said they were also arguing whether the loans were “eligible loans” within the meaning of the Nama Act for takeover by Nama.
Maurice Collins SC, for Nalm, said there was a compelling case for summary judgment. There appeared to be no dispute the loans were advanced and the money is due.
Mr Justice Kelly reserved judgment.