Court orders developer to pay €62.5m over loans

 

McNAMARA RULING:AN ORDER for summary judgment for €62.5 million has been entered at the Commercial Court against beleaguered developer Bernard McNamara over his personal guarantee of loans given by private investors for the €412 million purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site at Ringsend.

Mr McNamara has already said he cannot pay the €62.5 million sum and the entry of summary judgment orders for €62.5 million against him, plus €98 million against his company Donatex, exposes him to other claims by creditors.

The summary judgment orders were granted yesterday afternoon by Mr Justice Peter Kelly after he was told by Martin Hayden, counsel for Mr McNamara, his client was not proceeding with a Supreme Court appeal against the judge’s decision last month that the investors were entitled to summary judgment on the sums sought.

In those circumstances, John Gleeson, counsel for the investors, sought and secured the summary judgment orders and also asked that the orders be drawn up as soon as possible. Costs were also awarded to the investors, who brought their action through Jersey-registered company Ringsend Property.

The investors, assembled by Davy stockbrokers to invest in the IGB site purchase, include businessmen Martin Naughton and Lochlann Quinn and the Coolmore Stud.

On Monday, lawyers for Mr McNamara had applied for a stay on the summary judgment orders pending their appeal against Mr Justice Kelly’s ruling there was no arguable defence to the investors claim. The stay was also sought pending the outcome of separate proceedings by Mr McNamara and Donatex seeking to be indemnified by the the Dublin Docklands Development Authority against the claims against them on the basis of the DDDA’s handling of matters concerning the IGB site.

On Tuesday, Mr Justice Kelly was told of discussions between Mr McNamara’s side and the investors and he agreed to defer his judgment on the stay application to yesterday afternoon to see if any agreement could be reached.

However, when the case came before him yesterday, he was told Mr McNamara was not proceeding with his appeal. That rendered his judgment on the stay application redundant, Mr Justice Kelly said and he made the summary judgment orders.

Earlier this week, the court was told Mr McNamara has conceded he has “no unencumbered assets” and was unable to pay the €62.5 million due to the investors while Donatex itself was also unable to pay the €98 million owed by it.

Mr McNamara, however, offered to pay some €100,000 per month off the summary judgment sums but Mr Gleeson described that offer as “paltry” given the sums owed. Counsel also said Mr McNamara is no longer a person of significant net worth and his position was getting worse every day. The investors were already down some €30 million as Donatex had no asset other than the IGB site contract, he added.

In a letter read to the court, solicitors acting for Mr McNamara said “all of the equity in his personal assets has been utilised to support his various businesses and over 1,100 people that those business either employ directly or who earn a livelihood from them”.

The letter said Mr McNamara and Donatex “accept and acknowledge that they are unable to satisfy” the summary judgments pronounced in favour of RPL.

Mr McNamara, the letter added, was not “at this time” able to make any substantial payment in satisfaction of the judgment against him. The investors would benefit if Mr McNamara and Donatex won their court proceedings against the DDDA over its failure to grant a certificate which would have had the effect of fast-tracking planning permission for the IGB site, the letter added.