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High Court grants €1.59m judgment against developer’s daughter-in-law

Case was over loans relating to purchase of commercial units in Sandyford

AIB sought judgment against Joanna Sloan, wife of Simon Kelly, son of Laois-born Paddy Kelly arising from loans advanced in 2007 for the purchase of units in Sandyford Apex Centre. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

The High Court has granted summary judgment for €1.59 million against a daughter-in-law of well known developer Paddy Kelly over loans primarily related to the purchase of units in a commercial building in Sandyford, Dublin.

AIB sought judgment against Joanna Sloan, wife of Simon Kelly, son of Laois-born Paddy Kelly arising from loans advanced in 2007 for the purchase of units in Sandyford Apex Centre and for the release of equity in two of the units there.

Mr Justice Séamus Noonan ruled Ms Sloan had not demonstrated a fair or reasonable probability of a bona-fide defence to the bank’s claim.

He said Paddy Kelly and others were loaned €8 million by AIB in 2006 to buy 10 units in the Apex Centre, owned by Daleridge Ltd, of which Mr Kelly and Simon Kelly were shareholders, along with others.

Daleridge was liquidated and the shareholders subsequently acquired some of the individual units in the Apex.

After the liquidation, Ms Sloan bought two of the units with loans from AIB in 2007, including a sum for releasing equity. Security for the loans was a legal charge by Ms Sloan over the two units while her husband Simon provided a letter of guarantee for her obligations for €3.42 million.

The total amount of the loans sanctioned was €3.42 million.

Receiver

A receiver appointed over the units sold them off and the proceeds went to reduce her outstanding debt to €1.59 million .

There was default on the loans and the bank sought judgment after a demand for repayment was not met.

Mr Justice Noonan said there was no dispute the money was drawn down by Ms Sloan, there was default and repayment demands were not met.

He said the fact that the money had been drawn down amounted to implicit acceptance of the terms of the loan.

He noted Ms Sloan claimed it was not her signature and that the loan was “for the full benefit of my husband rather than me”.

This was later contradicted by Ms Sloan when she claimed she had not received independent legal advice “at the point at which I executed the liabilities in question”, he said.

She stopped short of alleging the signature was a forgery but, the judge said, no other inference could be drawn.

Her assertion that she knew nothing about the loan in question “is simply not credible in the light of the documentary evidence which in my view is all to the contrary”, he said.

A bare assertion a signature was not hers did not amount to an arguable defence, he said.

He also rejected her claim about not having received independent legal advice or that the case had been brought outside the relevant legal time limits.