Mick Wallace agrees to give bank keys of Clontarf home after Christmas
Judge grants bank possession of Dublin house but grants three month stay on order
The bank is seeking possession of Mick Wallace’s Dublin home on Clontarf Road, Dublin 3 on which he owes more than €900,000. Photograph: Eric Luke
Mick Wallace’s house, Clontarf Road, Dublin.Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill
MEP Mick Wallace informed a judge he would hand back the keys of his repossessed Dublin home to Allied Irish Mortgage Bank in March next, if he was allowed to spend Christmas there.
Mr Wallace was speaking by phone from Strasbourg on Thursday. His lawyers called their client after Judge Jacqueline Linnane told them that if he wanted a stay to for Christmas they would have to ring him and see if he was prepared to co-operate with the bank and hand back the keys. He told them he was and was granted a stay on the possession order for three months
A short time earlier Judge Linnane was told Mr Wallace had three years ago threatened the bank with an ultimatum in which he allegedly told them if they did not give him a new loan to buy an apartment in Dublin’s Temple Bar he would burn his home on Clontarf Road, Dublin 3 and would have to be carried out of it in a coffin.
Inquiring if he had a home in Strasbourg, Judge Linnane said she had seen a photograph of him sitting having a drink on a balcony in the shade “somewhere in Europe, certainly warmer than here”.
After granting the bank possession of Mr Wallace’s Clontarf home, the judge was asked for a three months stay on the order. She insisted on him being phoned to see if he had changed his tune and would hand back the keys.
Ten minutes later his barrister Jack Tchrakian told the court he could give an undertaking on Mr Wallace’s behalf that he would hand back the keys in March. With regard to Wallace’s threat to burn the house, Mr Tchrakian said “people say things in stressful situations.”
He told Judge Linnane that Mr Wallace would be disputing the remarks attributed to him by an AIB Mortgage Bank Sean O’Carroll. Clarifying in a sworn statement what he believed he had said to Mr O’Carroll, Mr Wallace conceded he had “become emotive” during the conversation.
Judge Linnane had heard that Mr Wallace, when refused a loan for the Temple Bar apartment, had become extremely irate and upset. He had allegedly threatened to withdraw all co-operation with the bank which, he said, would have to take him out of the Clontarf property in a box.
He was alleged also to have said he would burn down the house before giving it up or agreeing to the bank selling it and was prepared to go to jail if necessary. The judge said it was obvious that in his phon call to the bank Mr Wallace had become agitated.
The judge said the court had earlier been told because Mr Wallace had obtained a better job and his finances had improved, he would be able to make a better proposal, and on the strength of this had granted two adjournments.
When Mr Tchrakian said Mr Wallace’s arrangements with the official assignee in bankruptcy would end in March , Judge Linnane said he could not make any new arrangement because he is still tied to the official assignee .
The judge had earlier been told there was no sustainable solution to Wallace’s debt that did not involve his Clontarf residence being sold.
Judge Linnane, granting the bank an order for possession said the evidence was clear he had defaulted on repayments on the €825,000 mortgage . She said the High Court had been told in bankruptcy proceedings that he owed €30million in secured and unsecured debts to creditors .
She said the property was now in negative equity. Arrears now totalled €111,258 and the overall debt to the bank was €955,044. She awarded costs against Mr Wallace saying he had contributed to the legal bill by refusing to co-operate with the bank .
Mr Wallace was elected as a TD for Wexford in 2011 and held the seat until he won a European Parliament seat in May. When running for the European Parliament, he listed his address as his native Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford.
At the 2016 general election, the postal address given to the Standards in Public Office Commission was the Wexford Youths football club, which was founded by Mr Wallace.
The only income for the previous three years listed on his financial declaration as an MEP was his TD’s salary, which the European Parliament return lists as between €1,000 and €5,000 gross income per month.