Dublin city councillor Nial Ring and his wife, Joyce, have lost their family home in leafy Clontarf to Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank.
Mr Ring, who wanted to be lord mayor of Dublin during the Centenary year of 2016, has arrears debts totalling more than €500,000 on their house at 63 St Lawrence Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3.
Sheila Finn, counsel for the bank, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court that Mr Ring and his wife owed €514,817 in arrears alone on three loans taken out initially with the governor of the Bank of Ireland and transferred to Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank in 2005.
Ms Finn, who appeared with Kane Tuohy Solicitors, said the couple had taken out three loans in 2003 for separate amounts of €234,000; €380,000 and €486,000, a total of €1,100,000.
She said repayments on the loans amounted to €8,000 a month and following default of almost €500,000 the bank had sought repayment and, in the event of failure, had warned the Rings it would seek a possession order.
Neither Mr Ring nor his wife were in court yesterday to hear Judge Linnane hand the property back to the bank with legal costs. She granted the Rings a stay of six months to find alternative accommodation or reach an acceptable arrangement with the bank.
Counsel for the Rings asked the court for an adjournment.
She said Mr Ring had recently found a new job as a consultant to a mine drilling company in which US companies had a takeover interest.
She said Mr Ring had made a number of monthly payments of €10,000 as a result of his new employment and felt confident that he could arrange a new financing deal on the loans with another lender without any court orders being made against him.
Judge Linnane said she accepted some payments of €10,000 had been made in recent months but these were not as good as they seemed in that the normal monthly repayment on the three loans was €8,000 anyway.
“It would take a long time for him to pay off the half million euro plus arrears, never mind the loans, and I accept the bank’s contention that the ongoing situation is unrealistic,” the judge said.
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