High Court judge rules 18 people bankrupt

Man with debts of €400,000, mostly to Revenue, tells court he wants matter ‘over with’

Eighteen people were adjudicated bankrupt during a hearing lasting less than one hour at the High Court on Monday.

Ms Justice Caroline Costello made the 18 adjudications having read in advance the relevant documents. There was a subdued atmosphere as each petitioner stood while the judge made her ruling in their individual cases.

The petitions for bankruptcy were mainly brought on the petition of the individuals themselves and the petitioners also included a number of couples.

One man had debts of some €400,000 and the Revenue Commissioners, which is owed most of the sum, petitioned for his bankruptcy. The man told the judge he just wanted the matter “over with”.

The judge adjourned another petition, also brought by the Revenue, after being told the debtor, a solicitor, does not wish to be adjudicated bankrupt and wanted time to recover fees due to him from a legal action.

Counsel for the Revenue had sought for the petition to proceed, arguing there appeared to be “no reality of repayment”.

Vincent P. Martin BL, for the debtor, said it would be a gross injustice to do so when his side hoped to advance the recovery of costs. His client had also experienced health difficulties, counsel added.

Ms Justcie Costello said she was conscious this was a Revenue debt but, in the circumstances, would adjourn the matter for a few weeks.

The court’s bankruptcy list, heard every Monday, usually sees between 15 and 20 similar bankruptcy adjudications made.