Former billionaire Tony O’Reilly now insolvent

Former billionaire Tony O’Reilly has had a judgment for €22.6m entered against him at the Commercial Court.

The court heard yesterday that the businessman was insolvent and has other borrowings of some €195m.

Judgment for other sums that total nearly €23m was also entered in favour of Allied Irish Banks against two of the 78-year-old’s investment vehicles, Indexia Holdings and Brookside Investments Ltd.

Mr O’Reilly did not object to entry of judgment but his counsel, Michael Cush, sought a six-month stay on registration and execution of the judgment to allow for orderly completion of a sale of unsecured assets, including his 750-acre estate at Castlemartin, Co Kildare, described as the “jewel in the crown”.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly will rule on the stay application on Friday and an interim stay on registration and execution of the judgment applies pending that.

Earlier, when entering judgment, plus interest, against Mr O’Reilly and the two companies, the judge said the former tycoon deserved credit for accepting from the outset the monies were repayable.

Mr O’Reilly has said serious expressions of interest in Castlemartin have been received from international bloodstock concerns, while sales have been agreed for €3.2m and €1.75m respectively of his Dublin house on Fitzwilliam Square and another property, Shorecliffe House, Glandore, Co Cork.

He has also sold some €3.7m shares in Independent News & Media which are secured to ACC Bank.

Mr O’Reilly hopes the planned assets sale will discharge most if not all of the debt owed to AIB and Castlemartin is key to his ability to pay off the debt, the court heard.

The AIB debt represents some 11.6% of his total debts, making his additional debts about €195m.

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