Court issues €8.7m judgment against Co Galway developer

Judge says John Lally is a “man of enterprise” whose fortunes had turned

Mr Justice Barrett said “enterprise and speculation are the lifeblood of a free economy” and Mr Lally is a “man of enterprise who speculated on property” who was successful for a time but more recently his fortunes had turned.

Mr Justice Barrett said “enterprise and speculation are the lifeblood of a free economy” and Mr Lally is a “man of enterprise who speculated on property” who was successful for a time but more recently his fortunes had turned.

 

A financial fund is entitled to judgment for €8.7 million against a Co Galway-based developer, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Max Barrett said Seaconview Designated Activity Company is entitled to the summary judgment against John Lally, Drimcong House, Moycullen.

Mr Lally had argued the case should go to a full hearing on several grounds including alleged unreasonable and excessive delay by Seaconview in seeking judgment.

Seaconview argued Mr Lally had no defence to its claim.

Mr Justice Barrett said “enterprise and speculation are the lifeblood of a free economy” and Mr Lally is a “man of enterprise who speculated on property” who was successful for a time but more recently his fortunes had turned.

While this was something for which Mr Lally was “deserving of, and has, the court’s sympathy”, he was satisfied Mr Lally had no arguable defence to the fund’s claim and Seaconview was entitled to summary judgment.

Dublin properties

The application arose out of guarantees Mr Lally was alleged to have provided to lenders in 2006 when a company of which he was a director, Brackville Holdings Limited, was advanced €82.5 million to acquire properties in Dublin.

It was claimed Mr Lally entered in 2006 into an Interest Shortfall Agreement where he unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed Brackville’s obligations to pay interest on the loan facilities.

It is also claimed, as part of that agreement, Mr Lally undertook to pay on demand interest due if Brackville failed to pay the interest when it was due and payable.

Seaconview acquired the loans in September 2015 and in 2016 demanded payment of €88.1 million from Brackville. When that demand was not satisfied it appointed a receiver over the assets.

The properties were sold in 2016 and the net proceeds of sale were applied to reduce Brackville’s liabilities but Seaconview claimed €8.7 million in interest remains outstanding.

It made a demand on Mr Lally for payment of that amount which it claims he has failed to satisfy.

In seeking to have the case go to a full hearing, Mr Lally raised issues about the transfer of the loans to Seaconview and complained of certain discrepancies in figures cited in the demand letter.