Developer vanishes owing €28m loans

GARDAÍ searching for a developer who owes more than €28 million in unpaid loans have been unable to find any trace of him.

And Europol has also been unable to shed any light on the whereabouts of Cork builder Greg Coughlan.

Senior Garda sources confirmed yesterday they are continuing to monitor his haunts. It is thought they have checked bank accounts but have found no paper trail to indicate the whereabouts of the Howard Holdings co-founder. Gardaí regularly keep an eye on Coughlan’s home in Kinsale, which is believed to have cost up to €7.5 million to build.

They are also monitoring a house in the Ballydehob area of West Cork which the developer “is believed to have access to”. There has been no sign of him at that property.

In April 2010, a High Court judge said gardaí could forcibly enter Coughlan’s Kinsale home if they needed to detain him. Mr Justice Peter Kelly issued the direction after Coughlan failed to obey court orders aimed at executing a judgment against him for unpaid property loans.

At the time the judge said he was satisfied that Coughlan, who is in his 60s, was evading arrest and he would not have him “thumbing his nose” at court orders.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly issued an arrest warrant for Coughlan and said the warrant would remain in force until it was executed. He is rumoured to be living in Portugal.

Coughlan ran into financial trouble when investors in a failed Polish property scheme secured a judgment against him for €28m in January 2010. The investors had put money into a Luxembourg-registered company, which was to be managed by Howard Holdings.

At its height, Howard Holdings was one of the fastest-growing development firms in the country.


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