Father and son lose action against Nama over €6.2m in loans

Byrnes’ loans transferred to Nama in 2010

The Byrnes brought various High Court proceedings arising out of the acquisition of the loans and the properties being put into receivership. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The Byrnes brought various High Court proceedings arising out of the acquisition of the loans and the properties being put into receivership. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an action by a father and son over the acquisition of some €6.2 million in loans by Nama.

The proceedings by Vincent Byrne and his son Vincent Byrne jnr arose over Nama’s acquisition of loans of €5.5 million and €715,000 advanced by AIB to Mr Byrne snr and another man to develop a site located at Parnell Road, Dublin 12.

A charge over the site, which was a fuel station, and apartments located at Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin, owned by the Byrnes, were put up as security for the loans.

The proposed development never proceeded, the loans got into difficulty and were transferred to Nama in 2010.

Receivers were eventually appointed over the properties.

The Byrnes brought various High Court proceedings arising out of the acquisition of the loans and the properties being put into receivership.

In proceedings taken in 2016, they sued Nama claiming the agency had failed to afford them fair procedures during the decision-making process leading to the acquisition of the loans and associated securities.

The Byrnes also complained, in alleged breach of their rights, they did not get clear reasons for the acquisition.

In a pre-trial application, Nama sought to have their claim struck out on the basis it was frivolous, vexatious and statute barred.

In 2018, the High Court struck out some, but not all, of the Byrnes’ claims. Their claim for damages for Nama’s alleged breach of the EU Charter and failing to comply with regulations governing State aid, was struck out.

The High Court had permitted their damages claim for alleged breaches of their right to fair procedures to proceed.

Nama appealed that aspect of the High Court decision, arguing all of the Byrnes’ claims against it should have been dismissed.

The Byrnes cross-appealed, arguing all of their claims should be reinstated.

Dismissed the entirety

In a judgment on Wednesday, the three-judge Court of Appeal, comprising Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan and Mr Justice Donald Binchy allowed Nama’s appeal and dismissed the entirety of the Byrnes’ claim against the agency. It also dismissed the Byrnes cross-appeal.

Giving the judgment, Mr Justice Noonan said the Byrnes’ claim was statute barred, meaning it was brought outside the applicable time limits.

The case was initiated outside the expiration of the longest limitation period applicable, more than six years, and was accordingly bound to fail, he ruled.