Nama granted freezing order against McCabes in row over fate of €6.2m

Nama has secured a number of High Court orders freezing the assets of developer John McCabe and members of his family.

Nama sought the orders over its concerns that the McCabes had misappropriated or dissipated more than €6.2m, including income generated by assets secured in favour of the agency. The McCabes, whose group of companies are indebted to Nama for over €235m, have denied the claims.

Yesterday at the High Court, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said he was satisfied to grant Nama a number of temporary injunctions — known as mareva injunctions — freezing the assets of John McCabe Sr and his wife Mary McCabe, of Rath Stud, Ashbourne, Co Meath.

Similar orders were obtained against their children John McCabe Jr, Helen McCarthy (née McCabe), Angela McCabe, Pauline McCabe, and Sandra McCabe, all with addresses at Rath Lodge, Asbourne. The injunctions were made returnable to Friday of this week.

Under the terms of the injunctions the McCabes cannot dispose, sell, or transfer any asset worth more than €5,000 in which any of them has a legal or beneficial interest.

They are also prevented from taking any steps to sell, transfer, or discharge a number of their assets including shares, properties, and cash in bank accounts.

They are further prevented from doing anything to obstruct Nama from recovering debts or enforcing judgments obtained by the agency against the defendants.

Seeking the injunctions, Rossa Fanning BL, for Nama, said his client had acquired approximately €235m worth of loans owed to AIB, IBRC, and Bank of Ireland by companies controlled by the McCabes, guaranteed by John McCabe Sr.

The information on which Nama based its application was contained in letters to Nama by solicitors for the defendants, so there could be no dispute as to the facts, counsel said.

Counsel added that undertakings, offered late in the day by the defendants, were now not acceptable to his client and Nama wanted the injunctions in place.

Lawyers for the McCabes had opposed Nama’s application. Martin Canny BL, for Mr and Mrs McCabe and four of their children, denied any wrongdoing. He asked the court to adjourn the matter to allow time to respond to Nama’s claims, and offered several undertakings on behalf of his clients.

Counsel added that a freezing order could negatively impact on the proposed sale of an apartment owned by Mr and Mrs McCabe at London’s Park Lane.

Lawyers for Ms McCarthy said she was a stranger to the allegations, and had nothing to do with the dissipation of assets. Ms McCarthy was a housewife who resigned her directorships of the various McCabe companies with which she had been involved.

In his ruling Mr Justice McCarthy said he was satisfied, from both the evidence before him and an undertaking as to damages by Nama, to grant the injunctions sought.

While accepting the evidence was not as strong against Ms McCarthy, the judge said her close ties to the other defendants were such that the court should make orders against her.

The defendants, the judge said, would not suffer any prejudice as the orders would only remain in place until Friday.

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