Nursing home firm funded by cash-for-visa applicants is formally wound up

Winding up order sought by Beijing-based Yi Yuan who claims to have loaned €1 million to the firm under the Government’s immigrant investor programme

The High Court has made an order formally winding up a company set up to develop a Co Wicklow property into a care facility and nursing home.

On Monday Mr Justice Brian Cregan confirmed the appointment of insolvency practitioner Declan De Lacy of Dublin-registered Clonmannon House Retirement Village Limited, which acquired Clonmannon House and surrounding lands in Ashford, Co Wicklow.

Mr DeLacy was appointed on a provisional basis by the court late last week after it held the firm was insolvent and unable to pay its debts as they fall due.

There was no opposition from either the company or any other party to the application to confirm Mr De Lacy’s appointment.


The order was sought by Beijing-based Yi Yuan who claims to have loaned €1 million to the firm under the government’s immigrant investor programme.

That programme, scrapped last year, allowed people who invested at least €1 million in Ireland to obtain visas to reside here.

At the High Court on Monday, Arthur Cunningham BL, for the liquidator, said that while his client has only been in situ, on a provisional basis, since last Thursday he has taken some steps regarding to the company.

Counsel said Mr De Lacy had been in contact with the firm’s sole director Ms Candance La Fleur, who has agreed to co-operate with the liquidator.

Counsel said that the liquidation was complex, and added that there is an agreement in place that the company would compete the purchase of Clonmannon House by the end of the month.

Counsel said some €1.9 million has been paid to buy the asset, with a sum of over €100,000 due to the vendor.

However, counsel said, while the company did not appear to have the funds to complete the purchase plans to put financing in place that would enable the sale to go ahead are under way.

Counsel also said that Mr De Lacy is looking into certain tax issues, including stamp duty, that may arise in relation to the purchase of the property.

In reply to the judge Counsel accept that the company has claimed that it hopes to sell on the property for a sum of approximately €4 million.

Mr Justice Cregan said he was satisfied to confirm Mr De Lacy’s appointment as liquidator and directed that Ms La Fleur provide a statement of affairs.

The matter will return before the court later this month.

Represented by Sally O’Neill BL, instructed by solicitor Aisling Murphy of O’Shea Barry Solicitors, the petitioner sought the liquidator’s appointment following the firm’s failure to repay her some €1.17 million which became due and owing last August.

Ms O’Neill said her client had become concerned after another investor launched legal proceedings, alleging that the company had not repaid that investor a sum of €1.3m.

Counsel said that Ms La Fleur had sworn an affidavit in those proceedings which contained matters that Ms Yuan says are not true.

There were also concerns about the company’s compliance with Irish company law, the court heard.

The proceedings were brought last January when Ms Li Sun, represented by Sean O’Sullivan BL instructed by Rafferty Jamesons Solicitors secured a temporary freezing order restraining the company from disbursing, dissipating, or in any way disposing of any money received by it in relation to any sale or disposal of the defendant’s assets or shares.

The Clontarf-based Ms Sun, who invested in the company in 2019 sought the order over concerns about her investment and fears that she will not get the €1.3 million she says she is entitled to from the company.

All claims of wrongdoing in those proceedings have been denied by the company.

That action returns before the court later this month.