Flat market: No bidder for Donegal apartments


THERE WERE heated scenes at a public auction in Co Donegal yesterday when no bidder emerged for 47 partially completed apartments that failed to make the reserve of €550,000.

The apartments, at the Navenny Place complex, in Ballybofey, were put up for sale in one lot by Patrick McDermott, the receiver appointed to Navenny Developments Ltd by Ulster Bank.

There was a Garda presence outside the premises with about 100 builders and subcontractors attending the auction in Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey. Former workers on the site protested outside.

During an animated discussion, several workers and subcontractors expressed outrage at the sale of the apartments. And there were calls to boycott the Ulster Bank and to note that anyone purchasing the development would have to deal with the local community.

Danny Gallagher, a director of Navenny Developments, said his company “had lost everything” and that “a lot of people are going to the wall because of what happened”.

He claimed that a number of local contractors will go into liquidation because of the bank’s actions, and that people could lose their homes over what happened. Co-director Brendan Dunnion expressed his frustration over their dealings with Ulster Bank, stating that a number of alternative proposals on how to move forward were rejected.

Local builder Dessie McFeeley called on any bidders “to turn around and walk out the door”. He contended that given time, Navenny Developments could finish the work, and pay the subcontractors and workers.

He called on Mr McDermott “to try and work with the men” and “for common sense to prevail”. After a 20-minute adjournment, auctioneer Dermot Rainey of Sherry FitzGerald Rainey, failed to get any bids, despite dropping the opening request to €300,000. It was withdrawn and the apartments are now available for sale by private treaty.