McKillen appeal due next month


A Supreme Court appeal by property investor Paddy McKillen aimed at preventing the transfer of some €2.1 billion in loans to the National Assets Management Agency (Nama) will be heard before December 21st, it was confirmed today.

Chief Justice Mr Justice John Murray, told lawyers for Mr McKillen and Nama the appeal would be heard before the end of this law term - December 21st - and “perhaps significantly before then”. Mr Justice Murray added he could not say if the court’s judgment would be delivered by December 21st.

Earlier, Maurice Collins SC, for Nama and the State, said his side regarded the case as of “extreme urgency” and were prepared to continue a stay restraining transfer of the loans to Nama if the appeal was heard this term.

Counsel noted the High Court had certified one issue for determination in the appeal in addition to the constitutional issue raised by Mr McKillen. However, his side, in the interests of securing a speedy appeal, would not seek to make points as to the breadth of the appeal, Mr Collins added.

Michael Cush SC, for Mr McKillen, said his side believed the relevant issues were those identified in the High Court judgment on Mr McKillen’s case.

He added the books of appeal were practically complete and would be lodged within seven days. Mr Collins said his side would respond with their submissions and appeal documents within a further seven days.

The Chief Justice said the appeal would be given priority and would be heard this term but it was difficult to fix a date until all the appeal documents were lodged.

He said it would take a lot of work to go through all the documents involved and the Supreme Court was the only court in the EU without the resources to assist it in such work.

The Chief Justice said he would list the matter for mention again next Thursday when it may be possible to fix a hearing date for the appeal.

Mr McKillen and 15 of his companies are appealing against the rejection by a three judge High Court earlier this month of their challenge to the transfer to Nama of their loans with Bank of Ireland.

The case has implications for other loans held by the applicants with other participating financial institutions in Nama.