Fund entitled to €3.89m after default on repayments relating to apartments plan in Wexford

A fund is entitled to judgment for €3.89m against members of a partnership over default on repayment of borrowings to build 16 apartments at Mill Race, Bunclody, Co Wexford.

Fund entitled to €3.89m after default on repayments relating to apartments plan in Wexford

By Ann O'Loughlin

A fund is entitled to judgment for €3.89m against members of a partnership over default on repayment of borrowings to build 16 apartments at Mill Race, Bunclody, Co Wexford.

Promontoria (Gem) DAC, Haddington Road, Dublin, sued Ciaran Redmond, Lackabeg, Co Carlow, Michael O'Neill, Market Square, Bunclody, Peter Crean, Kildavin, Bunclody, and Clody Norton, Newtownbarry House, Bunclody, all trading as the Norc Partnership.

The action arose out of a €3.89m loan made by Anglo Irish Bank to the partnership in 2005. The loan was later taken over by Nama and sold on in January 2017 to Promontoria (Gem).

In June 2017, with the loan now standing at some €4.5m, Promontoria demanded repayment but it was not forthcoming. Promontoria appointed a receiver over the Bunclody apartments and also sought summary judgment against the defendants.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey was satisfied to grant judgment for the principal sum of €3,896,000.

He said only two members of the partnership, Mr Crean, who is a solicitor, and Ms Norton, a businesswoman, contested the summary judgement application.

Mr Crean's argument that his case should go to a full hearing, rather than be dealt with summarily, was based on what he said was a binding agreement he reached with Promontoria in February 2018 whereby his liability for the €4.5m demand would be settled on an undertaking to pay €80,000.

Ms Norton also relied on that alleged agreement and said the claim against her could not be sufficiently particularised until the issue over the alleged agreement was dealt with.

Mr Justice Twomey rejected the case on including in relation to claims the proceedings were statute barred and that there was an alleged breach of the code of conduct for lending to small and medium enterprises.

In relation to the alleged settlement agreement, the judge said it was not a credible defence to the summary proceedings. Even if agreement in principle had been reached on the €80,000 settlement figure, it was clear to the court that such an agreement would not be legally binding until legal documentation was signed by Promontoria, he said.

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