ACC Bank has told the High Court that it will challenge a ruling yesterday in the Northern Ireland High Court declaring a Co Wicklow businessman a bankrupt.
Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne today exercised the court’s power here not to recognize the Northern Ireland court’s adjudication if the court was satisfied the application had been made solely to frustrate the Dublin court’s jurisdiction to deal with the matter.
She put a stay on any further steps being taken in the bankruptcy of Co Wicklow businessman Sean McCann to enable ACC and Mr McCann himself to challenge the question of COMI, the centre of main interest, in the bankruptcy proceedings.
The judge told Mr Micheal O Scanaill, S.C., counsel for the bank, that there had been no clear evidence in relation to collusion in the matter but said ACC had raised issues that caused concern.
Judge Dunne said that in her view no form of collusion had taken place but she was satisfied ACC had not been given an opportunity to be heard in Northern Ireland on the question of COMI.
She told Mr Benedict O Floinn, counsel for Mr McCann, that she would put a stay on any further steps being taken in the Bankruptcy proceedings to enable ACC and Mr McCann of Killegar, Enniskerry, and Botanic Court, Belfast, to challenge the centre of main interest in the Northern Ireland case.
Mr O Scannaill said Mr McCann had been declared a bankrupt in the North on Monday and it was ACC’s case that this had been done, over a debt of just £1,400 to frustrate bankruptcy proceedings in the south.
ACC alleges that McCann had signed a guarantee indemnity over a loan of €5.55m to Killorglin Investments Ltd in 2006 for the development of an 11-acre site in Killorglin.
Mr O Scannaill said planning permission had been refused by An Bord Pleanala and the development had fallen through.
He said ACC was seeking repudiation of the Northern Ireland court’s adjudication while Mr McCann was seeking to dismiss the bank’s application.
The court heard that Bank of Ireland, which was also seeking repayment of a debt, had sought to secure a judgment over 15 of Mr McCann’s properties including his family home at Killegar.
ACC had brought today’s proceedings to stop Bank of Ireland securing priority as a creditor.
Judge Dunne said the application to decide the question of the centre of main interest should be made to the Northern Ireland court before any further application is brought before the court in the Republic of Ireland.