Judge tells FF Executive member to ‘face reality’ on debt

FIANNA FÁIL National Executive member Jerry Beades was told by a judge yesterday he should “face the reality” that he owes €1.5m to a bank in relation to properties owned by a company he controlled.

Last week in the Commercial Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly ruled a receiver appointed by ACC Bank was entitled to orders for possession of certain premises in Richmond Road, Fairview, Dublin, against Fairlee Properties Ltd over non-payment of the €1.5m debt. Mr Beades is a director of Fairlee.

The judge adjourned the making of those orders until yesterday to allow 16 individuals and companies, said to be in occupation of those properties, to be notified about the impending orders and to allow them to be heard.

The court heard yesterday the 16 had been served with notices but none had appeared in court and only two individuals had filed affidavits in which they said they were in occupation of offices in Richmond Business Centre and paying rent.

After reading the affidavits, Mr Justice Kelly said whatever interest these two individuals have in the properties, it was clear from case law that this was no bar to the receiver taking possession. There was also an obligation on persons taking an interest in the property to ensure the landlord was entitled to do so where the written consent of the bank was required.

The position was still that Fairlee owes €1.5m to the bank, the receiver was validly appointed and no defence to the demand for possession had been demonstrated by Fairlee.

Consequently, he was making the orders that the premises involved — 158-162 Richmond Road, and number 6 Tivoli Centre, also Richmond Road — be delivered up to the receiver.

At that point, Jerry Beades asked the judge if he could address the court and apologised for being late. The judge told him he could not do so because as he had no entitlement under law to represent Fairlee.

Despite having no such entitlement, the judge said he had allowed Mr Beades to be heard last week and he had given him “a full hearing”.

Mr Beades asked for a stay on the order, but the judge again told him he had no entitlement to appear on behalf of Fairlee.

“You owe €1.5m to the bank and that is the reality of the situation and the sooner you face up to that the better,” the judge told him.

Mr Beades said “this bank has been guilty of serious irregularities and I am a victim of that”.

The judge said that was the subject of a hearing last July before another judge and he was not going to conduct a re-hearing. He also told Mr Beades he was not going to advise him in relation to what he could do.

Last week, Mr Beades argued ACC had no authority to appoint a receiver on grounds the bank had, about June 2009, internally written off most of Fairlee’s liabilities to it. He also claimed he was entitled to damages, including exemplary damages, against the bank over appointment of the receiver.

The judge ruled, however, that Mr Beades accepted none of that money had been paid by him or Fairlee and ACC had appointed Mr Wallace as receiver.

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