Waterford developer freed from debts in New York

Former property developer Darryl Kavanagh discharged from $23m of debts

A New York State court has discharged $23 million (€17m) of debts due by a Waterford property developer and publican owner allowing him to walk free from US bankruptcy.

Just over six months after filing for bankruptcy, Darryl Kavanagh (47) was granted a discharge by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York in Buffalo near his home in Orchard Park, upstate New York.

The New York court notified creditors, including the Nama, Bank of Ireland, Danske Bank and Certus (which manages former Bank of Scotland (Ireland) loans) that Mr Kavanagh had been discharged by an order of the court on June 5th, 2014.

Pub and nightclub

Mr Kavanagh owned Harvey’s Bar in Waterford and Mantra nightclub in Maynooth. Bank of Scotland (Ireland) appointed a receiver to the club in 2011.


The discharge means creditors are prohibited from making “any attempt to collect from the debtor a debt that has been discharged”. They also can not contact him about his former debts.

Mr Kavanagh listed debts of $9.5 million to Bank of Scotland (Ireland) and $8 million to Nama through property development-related debt acquired by the State loans agency from Bank of Ireland.

He owed a $2 million to Danske Bank arising from borrowings on two industrial units near Waterford airport.

Holiday homes

Mr Kavanagh's bankruptcy trustee Thomas Gaffney received court approval to recoup for creditors any funds recovered from a claim against Irish Life and an individual, Declan Walsh, for the alleged theft of a $162,000 pension fund in late 2012 held at Sheffs Limited, the company behind the Maynooth nightclub, court records show.

Among assets worth almost $4.7 million Mr Kavanagh listed in his bankruptcy statements were 12 holiday homes in Dunmore East.

He lived in Maypark Lane, Waterford, until May 2013 when he moved to Orchard Park, near the Canadian border, where he is sales director for Irish company Ellickson Beverage Systems.

Like fellow Irish property developer Sean Dunne and former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm, Mr Kavanagh sought protection from creditors under chapter 7 of the US bankruptcy code, though his exit from bankruptcy was far simpler than his fellow US-based bankrupts whose discharges have been challenged by creditors.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent