A financial fund is entitled to judgment of just over €7 million from an experienced businessman, the High Court has ruled.
Mr Justice Charles Meenan ruled on Monday that Promontoria (Arrow Limited) was entitled to judgment against Thomas Dowling, who currently resides in the UK.
Promontoria claimed that Mr Dowling liability to it arose over a failure by a company Danum Development Limited to repay a loan taken out in 2006 to acquire 8.5 acres of land, where some 55 houses were to be developed, at the Whitehall Estate, Daingean Road, Tullamore, in Co Offaly.
The High Court heard that Mr Dowling, and three other parties, who all had an interest in Danum, had given personal guarantees in respect of the borrowings which totalled €4.69 million.
The money to fund the development was borrowed from Anglo Irish Bank Plc. Following Anglo’s collapse, the loan was initially transferred to the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). Promontoria subsequently acquired the loan in 2015.
Represented by Ross Fanning SC and Kelly Smith SC, the fund claimed before the High Court on Tuesday that it made a demand for repayment in April 2016 from Danum.
Counsel said that Danum failed to pay the demand, and the fund subsequently made a demand in 2018 on Mr Dowling and the other guarantors to repay the loan plus interest.
Mr Dowling, who counsel said is “an experienced Irish businessman”, had failed to repay the amount Promontoria claims is due and owing, which currently stands at approximately €7 million, counsel said.
Counsel said that proceedings had been taken against the other guarantors, which he said had been resolved.
The asset acquired with the monies had gone into receivership and had been disposed of, counsel added.
The London-based Mr Dowling had initially opposed the fund’s application for judgment against him.
However, he told the court that he was no longer represented by solicitors who had acted for him in the matter and sought to have the matter adjourned so that he could obtain new representation.
Mr Justice Meenan refused to put the matter back, on the grounds that the case had been pending before the court for some time and needed to get to be heard and determined by the court.
Promontoria had opposed the application to adjourn the case.
After being told the case was proceedings, Mr Dowling, who had travelled to court from the UK, said that he was not in a position to defend the claim being made against him.
After hearing submissions and evidence supporting the fund’s claim, Mr Justice Meenan said he was satisfied to grant judgment in favour of the fund.
The judge said he had considered what Mr Dowling had told the court, and arguments made on his behalf in written submissions made to the court in advance of the hearing, before arriving at his decision.