Priory Hall developer says his rights were breached

Priory Hall developer Thomas McFeely says his fundamental rights were breached when computers and documents were seized from the offices of a company he was formerly a director of, the Court of Appeal has heard.

Tom McFeeley: Court decision was reserved. Picture: CourtPix

His counsel, Vincent P Martin, argued his rights to privacy and private property were among those breached when a bankruptcy inspector searched the Holles St, Dublin, offices of Coalport Building Co, which Mr McFeely was a director of until he resigned some years prior to his bankruptcy.

That raid by officers acting for the official assignee in bankruptcy, Chris Lehane, was the source for illegally obtained documents later used to back up a successful application to extend Mr McFeely’s bankruptcy for a further five years, counsel said. Had that not happened, Mr McFeely would have exited bankruptcy in July of 2015 but now faces being a bankrupt until 2020.

That is unless he is successful in an appeal he had brought against the High Court order extending the bankruptcy.

The official assignee opposed the appeal, saying it was “entirely unmeritorious” and says some of the evidence about his non-disclosure of assets was not obtained in the search.

Arguing that decision should be overturned by the appeal court, Mr Martin said at issue were fundamental matters concerning bankruptcy law.

Bernard Dunleavy, counsel for the official assignee, said the central plank of the High Court decision to extend was Mr McFeely’s failure to provide a statement of affairs and absolute refusal to give the address of where he lived.

Mr Dunleavy said evidence in relation to some of the apartments was not obtained from Coalport but as a result of the official assignee being sent a management company’s service charge bill for some apartments.

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