Woman who took case 'vindicated' but does not expect to get money back

Tue, Jul 31, 2012, 01:00

THE WOMAN behind the battle to get property developer Thomas McFeely declared bankrupt in Ireland said last night she did not expect to see any of the money owed to her.

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin, Theresa McGuinness said she felt “vindicated” by the judgment of Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne, who yesterday made the declaration.

But she was under no illusions about seeing any money.

“I just want to get on with my life,” she said.

Ms McGuinness first crossed paths with Mr McFeely in 2002 when she put down a deposit on a property being built by his company Coalport Ltd.

The structural faults in that property resulted in her obtaining a judgment of more than €100,000 against him in 2009. But he failed to pay her.

She took bankruptcy proceedings last year only to find he had subsequently been declared bankrupt in the UK.

“I had been wronged and the person who carried out the injustice was walking around scot-free,” she said. “I had to do it: It was holding me up from progressing with my life.”

In the UK, she used all her determination as a lay litigant to have his bankruptcy overturned and was successful. Then she came back to the Irish courts to finish the job.

Being a lay litigant meant she took the power back into her own hands, she said. She expressed her gratitude to Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne who made yesterday’s ruling.

“She couldn’t have been any fairer. I told the truth from day one and it has actually paid off,” she said. She also thanked supporters and friends.

“I hope it is going to make people planning to go to the UK to avail of the easy options over there think twice about it. What he did was wrong.”