Dublin councillor Nial Ring ordered to surrender home over €0.5m arrears
Court issued possession order on Clontarf house with €8,000 per month repayments
Nial Ring has arrears debts totalling more than €500,000 on their house on St Lawrence Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3. Photograph: Twitter
A bank has been granted a possession order for the family home of Dublin City Councillor Nial Ring and his wife, Joyce, in Clontarf.
Mr Ring, a businessman and long-time political associate of the former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, had with his wife arrears debts totalling more than €500,000 on their house on St Lawrence Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3.
Barrister Sheila Finn, counsel for Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court the couple owed €514,817 in arrears alone on three loans taken out initially with the Governor of the Bank of Ireland and transferred to Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank in 2005.
Ms Finn, who appeared with Kane Tuohy Solicitors, said the couple had taken out three loans in 2003 for separate amounts of €234,000; €380,000 and €486,000, a total of €1,100,000.
She said repayments on the loans amounted to €8,000 a month and following default of almost half a million euro the bank had sought repayment and, in the event of failure, had warned the Rings it would seek a possession order.
Neither Mr Ring nor his wife were in court on Thursday to hear Judge Linnane hand the property back to the bank with legal costs. She granted the Rings a stay of six months to find alternative accommodation or reach an acceptable arrangement with the bank.
Counsel for the Rings asked the court for an adjournment. She said Mr Ring had recently found a new job as consultant to a mine drilling company in which US companies had a take-over interest.
She said Mr Ring had made a number of monthly payments of €10,000 as a result of his new employment and felt confident that he could arrange a new financing deal on the loans with another lender without any court orders being made against him.
Judge Linnane said she accepted some payments of €10,000 had been made in recent months but these were not as good as they seemed in that the normal monthly repayment on the three loans was €8,000 anyway.
“It would take a long time for him to pay off the half million euro plus arrears, never mind the loans, and I accept the bank’s contention that the ongoing situation is unrealistic,” Judge Linnane said.
Granting the bank an order for possession of the house on St Lawrence Road, Judge Linnane granted Mr and Mrs Ring a stay of six months on the basis that €10,000 a month would continue to be paid to the bank in the meantime.
Counsel for the Rings said the couple might use the stay to mount an appeal against today’s possession order.
In a statement on Thursday evening, Mr Ring said the six month stay “means that my family and I will not be immediately vacating the house and I will have ample time to repay the loan in full” through asset sales.
He added: “My family and I are very grateful for the many messages of support from friends and constituents. Many other families have found themselves in similar positions without the ability to extract themselves from their dilemma and we have enormous sympathy for their plight.
“My own immediate plans are to travel to London tomorrow on business and, as a Chelsea supporter, I will be going to Wembley for the FA Cup final on Saturday. I will be doing so mindful of the recent tragedy in Manchester — people’s lives are much more important than a bank repossession order.”
Mr Ring is an accountant, banker and former business partner of Dublin property developer and Fianna Fáil Ard Comhairle member, Jerry Beades. He was a government appointee to the board of IDA Ireland, where he served for 10 years until 2008.
He has been an independent councillor since 2009.