Bankrupt builder obliged to vacate home by August 10th

Wed, Aug 1, 2012, 01:00

THOMAS McFEELY and his wife Nina must leave the family home in Ballsbridge, Dublin, by August 10th, after which the city sheriff is entitled to take possession of the property arising from an unpaid loan, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Michael Peart yesterday rejected an application by Mr McFeely, who was adjudicated bankrupt on Monday, and his wife for a longer postponement of a possession order given to Nama arising from a €9.5 million mortgage taken out on their Ailesbury Road house in 2005.

The McFeelys had sought a stay on the order for possession, granted by the Circuit Court last June, pending a High Court appeal of that order.

Mr Justice Peart said the appeal could take several months to determine and he would give the couple until August 10th to find alternative accommodation and to allow the sheriff to formally notify them “the vans would be ready” by that date, a reference to the fact all their furniture would have to be removed to effect possession.

He rejected the couple’s claim that they had bona fide grounds of appeal and noted the matter had already been extensively fought in both the Circuit and High courts.

While he had sympathy for the McFeelys, who had been given until today to comply with the possession order so that one of their youngest children could complete the Leaving Cert, he had to apply the law, the judge added.

James Salafia SC, for the couple, said that while Mr McFeely had been adjudicated a bankrupt, his wife sought a stay on the possession order after reading newspaper reports that the door of her home would be broken down to enforce the order. Ms McFeely was a “timid woman”, inexperienced in business matters, Mr Salafia said.

As a housewife she had no other income and it would not be easy for her to find alternative accommodation.

Nama argued that the McFeelys had effectively been living rent-free on Ailesbury Road since August 2009 when the last payment on the loan was made and had had two months to find new accommodation.

The court also heard that a warrant issued for Mr McFeely’s arrest over an unpaid €24,000 debt to a recruitment company has been withdrawn by gardaí.