Former developer Kevin McGeever, who faked his own kidnapping, has denied he bought his Galway mansion with the proceeds of crime.
“Define crime”, he asked during a court hearing into whether he has the means to pay a €1.17m judgment debt registered against him last year by investor James Byrne over a Dubai property sold by Mr McGeever’s KMM Intel Properties.
He claimed the reported €4.5m he paid to buy and refurbish the mansion he named Nirvana in Craughwell, Co Galway, came from 30 years of working every day and not drinking or smoking.
Mr McGeever was under cross-examination in the Master’s Court as part of efforts by Mr Byrne requiring the 71-year-old businessman to divulge his assets so the debt could be recovered.
Mr McGeever — who at one point expressed a wish not to continue giving evidence and wanted to leave it to his legal representative “because I am out of my depth here” — said he wanted to sit down with Mr Byrne and the matter could be sorted out very simply.
He claimed he had a friend with business interests in Hong Kong and Singapore who would provide him with the money for the Byrne debt and the friend would later recover the money as part of any future business deals he and Mr McGeever had. “I don’t need to be here [in court],” he said.
He refused to name the friend who, he said, “has been taking care of me for a couple of years” because it would “cause his name to go round the world”.
Mr McGeever complained earlier that he had not provided details of a hospital where he was being treated for an illness, for which the court heard he had no medical certificate, because anywhere he went he found photographers taking pictures of him.
Andrew Robinson, for Mr Byrne, said this was because he had become “a bit of a celebrity” in recent weeks following his conviction and two-year suspended sentence for wasting Garda time.
Counsel put it to him that he had promised last December to pay the debt by March but had not done so and his latest promise to settle the matter could not be believed.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved