Developer says he disengaged from talks over €26m in loans due to daughter’s illness

‘I suppose it wasn’t a very clever thing to do’, John Meade tells Commercial Court

John  Meade, of Darrs, Sallins, Co Kildare, said he had only been told last Thursday there would be an application on Monday to have the case admitted to the commercial court list.

John Meade, of Darrs, Sallins, Co Kildare, said he had only been told last Thursday there would be an application on Monday to have the case admitted to the commercial court list.

 

A property developer who owes €26m for unpaid loans has said he disengaged from talks with a fund which had been pursuing him for the money following his eldest daughter’s cancer diagnosis.*

“I suppose it wasn’t a very clever thing to do”, John Meade told the Commercial Court on Monday when the fund - Promontoria (Arrow) Ltd - applied to have fast-tracked its proceedings seeking judgment against him.

Mr Meade said the matter has been going on since 2010 and he had reached an agreement with the fund up until last October but following his daughter’s diagnosis he withdrew from that engagement.

He now wanted to “get back to the table” and accepted he owed the money, he said.

Mr Meade, of Darrs, Sallins, Co Kildare, said he had only been told last Thursday there would be an application on Monday to have the case admitted to the commercial list. As a result, he had been unable to get any legal support and wanted more time to do so.

The case arises out of three loans from Anglo Irish Bank which were provided to him in 2009 to renew existing loans. Following Anglo’ s collapse, they were taken over by Nama and later sold to Promontoria (Arrow).

The debt from the loans, which originally were for around €21m, now stands at €26.6m.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern, who expressed his sympathy to Mr Meade, said he was prepared to grant Promontoria’ s application for admission of the case to the commercial list but would defer the question of how it is to be progressed to give him a chance to re-engage with the fund.

The judge said he did not want to see Mr Meade “dragged through the courts unnecessarily” in circumstances where he was admitting he owed the debt.

He adjourned the matter to next week, saying he hoped there would be a “meeting of minds”.

*Correction March 14th, 2018: An earlier version of this story made an incorrect reference to Mr Meade’s daughter. The court heard that Mr Meade disengaged from talks with a fund following his eldest daughter’s cancer diagnosis.