Claims against MacSharrys over Sligo deal deferred


AN ACCOUNTANT is to appeal to the Supreme Court against a €2.4 million award of damages made against him after a judge found he deliberately deceived three brothers concerning a controversial land deal in Co Sligo.

Kenneth McMoreland has claimed former EU commissioner Ray MacSharry and his sons Ray and Marc have a liability in relation to the damages, but the hearing of his claims against them has been deferred pending the outcome of his Supreme Court appeal.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly, noting yesterday it could take more than three years for Mr McMoreland’s appeal to come before the Supreme Court, said the claims against the other third parties would have to be deferred until the appeal was determined.

The judge said he was removing the case from the Commercial Court, which fast-tracks business disputes. He said the case would, following the Supreme Court appeal, have to proceed in the High Court nonjury list.

In the High Court earlier this year, Mr Justice Seán Ryan made an order requiring Mr McMoreland to pay €2.4 million interest and costs to brothers Arthur, Kieran and John Grady and their company, TJ Grady Ltd, after finding he deceived them over the 2006 sale of the Saehan site in Sligo.

A stay was later applied to that order. Mr Justice Ryan also made an order setting aside the investment deal entered into by the Gradys’ company on September 11th, 2006. A further order required Mr McMoreland to indemnify the Gradys against any claim by Allied Irish Banks arising from their investment.

The judge noted an agreement had been reached between the plaintiffs and the Sligo accountancy firm, Gilroy Gannon, whom the Gradys had also successfully sued over the deal.

In his third-party claims, Mr McMoreland, Mailcoach Road, Sligo, has alleged Mr MacSharry and others approved a sale and subsale arrangement for the former Saehan site in Sligo which was not disclosed to the Gradys when they invested in the deal.

Mr McMoreland is seeking a contribution from the third parties over the €2.4 million losses, which Mr Justice Ryan found were suffered by the Gradys arising from dealings relating to the Saehan site purchased in 2006 by Foresthaze Developments Ltd, of which Mr MacSharry snr was chairman.

Mr McMoreland previously secured orders joining the three MacSharrys and four others as third parties to proceedings brought against him and others over the deal. The four others are Gerard Healy c/o Kevinsfort Ltd, Castle Street, Sligo; Damien Torsney, Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin; and Edward Donaghy and Jacqueline Donaghy, Castletown, Drumcliffe, Co Sligo.

Last January, Mr Justice Ryan found the Gradys suffered losses because Mr McMoreland deceived them concerning the purchase, involving a secret subsale arrangement, of the Saehan site by Foresthaze. He ruled Mr McMoreland, with the authority of his partners in Gilroy Gannon, induced the Grady brothers by fraudulent representations to invest €2.4 million in Foresthaze Developments Ltd to buy the Saehan site in 2006.