Crosbie to counter-claim as Treasury brings action over docklands

TREASURY Holdings (THL) has brought a legal action to compel businessman Harry Crosbie pay an alleged €3 million share related to a €19.2m debt to another company under agreements for the financing of the Spencer Dock Development Company (SDDC).

Lawyers for Mr Crosbie say he will be counter-claiming for some €70m from Treasury over agreements related to development in the docklands.

Treasury claims, in the face of a winding-up petition served on it last December, it had to pay some €9m that month to finance company Streamford Ltd, a subsidiary of Mercury Engineering Ltd, as part payment of €19.2m due by Spencer Dock Development Company Ltd to Streamford via a Treasury subsidiary, Sharwood Twen Property Management.

Treasury, a shareholder along with Mr Crosbie in the Spencer Dock company, says SDDC was unable to repay the €19.2m when it became due last October.

Treasury claims it subsequently reached an agreement with Streamford in November to pay the money in instalments.

It claims Mr Crosbie, at a meeting on November 10 in the Expresso Bar in Ballsbridge with Richard Barrett and John Ronan of Treasury, agreed a settlement should be entered into concerning repayment of the €19.2m.

In an affidavit, Mr Barrett claims Mr Crosbie agreed to pay a contribution last month when his cash-flow would be “okay” and, in light of that, Treasury reached its instalments agreement with Streamford.

Treasury said some €9m was paid by it and SDDC by December 5 last. Treasury said it paid €7.5m while SDDC paid €1.5m but, when Mr Crosbie was called upon to make his one-third or €3m contribution to that €9m payment, he had refused to do so.

Mr Barrett said it was clear from the agreements that Mr Crosbie was liable for the sum sought but had refused to pay. When the proceedings by THL against Mr Crosbie came before the Commercial Court yesterday, Declan McGrath, for Mr Crosbie, said he will be counter-claiming for some €70m from Treasury related to several agreements.

Martin Hayden SC, for Treasury, said those agreements were not relevant to the agreement by Mr Crosbie to pay the contribution and to whether SDDC was compelled to pay its liability to Streamford.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly was also told there had been detailed engagement between solicitors for both sides and there may yet be an effort to mediate the dispute.

Making an order admitting the case to the Commercial Court, the judge said that order was “no impediment to mediation”.

Earlier, Mr McGrath said there are “layers” to Mr Crosbie’s defence, including his claim that the monies sought by Treasury are not presently due and owing because Treasury had failed to operate provisions of the agreement between the parties.

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