Century Homes founder entitled to full hearing on liability for Anglo loan

Century Homes founder Gerard McCaughey is entitled to a full hearing of his claim that he is not yet liable to repay a loan advanced to him by Anglo Irish Bank for an investment fund related to two New York hotels, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Mr McCaughey had advanced no arguable defence to the claim by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo, he is liable for loans advanced in connection with the Woolgate Exchange Geared Property Fund, the three-judge court held.

The court delivered its reserved judgment yesterday on Mr McCaughey’s appeal against a High Court decision IBRC was entitled to summary judgment concerning the Woolgate and Peninsula Real Estate ILP Fund. The issue of what orders should be made was adjourned.

Mr McCaughey had claimed he had a defence on grounds including, at the time the loans were advanced, he had a collateral agreement with Anglo the loans would not have to be repaid until the relevant investment projects came to an end.

Giving the Supreme Court judgment, Mr Justice Frank Clarke agreed with the High Court the Woolgate fund had come to an end and there was no defence concerning that fund which, the judge noted, had performed “disastrously”.

He disagreed there was no arguable case whether the New York fund had come to an end and ruled Mr McCaughey was entitled to a plenary hearing on that ground.

Additional affidavit evidence put before the Supreme Court indicated a possibility of some return on the New York investment on foot of plans to convert one of the hotels, the Eastgate Hotel, into a residential property, he said. In those circumstances, it seemed Mr McCaughey had an arguable case Anglo was not yet entitled to call in the loan, he held.


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