Irish developer Eugene O’Neill bankrupted in Britain

Businessman came to prominence after he backed out of a deal to sell Dublin apartments during boom

Ulster Bank: obtained a summary judgment against the Kildare property developer. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ulster Bank: obtained a summary judgment against the Kildare property developer. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

An Irish property developer, Eugene O’Neill, who came to prominence after he backed out of a deal to sell apartments in Dublin during the height of the property boom, has been bankrupted in Britain, following a petition lodged by a subsidiary of the Zurich insurance company. The bankruptcy order was made against Mr O’Neill, who gave an address in Ealing in West London, and lately of Osbertown Lodge, Osbertown, Co Kildare, on the petition of Dunbar Assets Ireland, based in the Irish Financial Services Centre.

In 2010, Mr O’Neill was pursued by Ulster Bank over a €16 million debt, which led to a High Court case where his wife, Deirdre said she had naively signed personal guarantees for loans worth millions of euro.

Ulster Bank had obtained a summary judgment against the Kildare property developer over personal guarantees on a multimillion euro debt that he had given in respect of the debts of one of his companies, Apex Estates Limited.

In 2005, Mr O’Neill returned deposits to customers who had signed up to buy 70 apartments in Smithfield during the height of the property boom when he decided that he would rent them, rather than sell.

Subsequently, Mr O’Neill ended up in a legal dispute with a company that had been hired to fit out the apartments ready for occupation, which led to a Christmas-time picket of his home in Kildare and court injunctions.

The 83 apartments and six shops in the Kings Court development North King Street in Dublin’s north inner city were subsequently put on the market by a receiver for less than €10 million. The creditor’s petition to bankrupt Mr O’Neill was filed on February 22nd.