Lynch family action over €25m AIB loan adjourned until Tuesday

AN action by One51 investment group chief executive Philip Lynch and his family aimed at preventing AIB pursuing them over a €25 million loan to buy development lands has been adjourned to next week.

Mr Lynch began giving evidence in the case on Wednesday and was expected to resume the witness stand yesterday morning when his counsel Michael McDowell said “a matter” had arisen and asked for an adjournment.

Mr Justice Michael Peart, who had previously said he could not hear the case today, adjourned the proceedings to Tuesday when Mr Lynch is expected to resume his evidence.

In the Commercial Court proceedings, Mr Lynch, his wife Eileen and their children — Judith, Philippa, Therese and Paul — want declarations they are not personally indebted to AIB for €25.3m arising from a February 2007 loan facility for the purchase and development of lands at Kilbarry, Waterford.

The case arises from an alleged co-ownership and profit agreement between developer Gerry Conlan and the Lynchs in relation to the purchase of 86 acres at Kilbarry. The lands are now said to have a value of about €4m.

The action is against AIB and two firms of solicitors, LK Shields and Matheson Ormsby Prentice (MOP).

The family claim LK Shields represented their interests in relation to the AIB loan and are claiming entitlement to an indemnity against it and/or MOP, which represented Mr Conlan’s interest, in relation to any claim by AIB against them. The defendants have denied the claims and AIB is claiming €25.3m judgment orders against the Lynch’s.

Separate proceedings by AIB seeking €25.3m judgment against Mr Conlan, Bridalwood House, Forenaughts, Naas, Co Kildare, will be heard later.

In evidence, Mr Lynch has said he could “never, ever” have exposed himself or his family to any liability for the €25m loan and regarded the deal was having “no risk” attached.

It was intended his four children would, as a result of the Waterford deal and other gifts to them, get some €1.66m each, the court has heard. The children were to get 20% of the anticipated profit from the deal, expected to be €4.39m before tax, while their parents were to get 80% or €21.9m.

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