McCabe ring sold in US for €150,000
A solitaire 8.38 carat diamond ring owned by the wife of developer John McCabe, whose companies owe €235 million to Nama, was sold in Florida for about €150,000 some two weeks after the agency first asked Mary McCabe to hand it over.
Nama, in seeking to recover a €20 million judgment against Ms McCabe, had challenged as too low a €140,000 collective valuation placed by her on the ring, a diamond bracelet set in platinum, and a necklace. It will get the $205,000 paid for the ring plus the two other items.
The bracelet is in a Dublin jeweller’s safe while the necklace was handed to a Nama receiver yesterday by John McCabe, a son of Ms McCabe. Jeweller John Farrington will retrieve the necklace when he returns from Miami, where he travelled to sell the ring at the request of Ms McCabe.
Rossa Fanning, for Nama, told the Commercial Court yesterday the agency was criticised as “draconian” after asking the court last week to appoint a receiver due to concerns the jewellery might be sold on, but that was “exactly the scheme being engaged in”. Mr McCabe said his mother was not in court due to a family bereavement but there was no “scheme”.
His mother was advised the ring would get a better price in the US and sought to secure the maximum return for Nama and the taxpayer, he said. She tried to stop the sale last Wednesday but was too late as it was sold at an auction in Miami the previous day.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly said Nama would say they had acted “not a moment too soon”. They had written to Ms McCabe twice in January seeking the jewellery.