€200k find will go to bankruptcy officials

The €200,000 found hidden in the bathroom of the former mansion of Priory Hall developer and IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely will be handed over to bankruptcy officials in a matter of days.

€200k find will go to bankruptcy officials

The Criminal Assets Bureau is examining the cash for any links with criminal conduct. The agency has yet to decide whether or not to make contact with McFeely.

The developer has not yet communicated with CAB regarding the two hauls at his former Edwardian residence on plush Ailesbury Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

A plumber doing renovations for the new buyer uncovered €140,000 in cash, hidden in the bathroom last Friday. He alerted Nama, which had seized the property following court bankruptcy proceedings.

They informed CAB, who took ownership of the cash and launched an investigation. A detailed search, using the specialist dog unit attached to the National Support Services, was initiated to look for any remaining cash.

On Wednesday, €60,000 in cash was uncovered in the bathroom. The €50 notes were rolled in elastic bands and stored in plastic bags.

CAB officers are using scanners, which provide partial images behind walls and underneath flooring.

Sources said their task was to establish “the origins of the money, to see if there is any criminal conduct” linked to the cash.

If the cash is not claimed it will be handed over to the court assignee, appointed by the High Court to dispose of the assets of the bankrupt developer.

The house, Coolbawn, was once worth over €15m, but sold for around €3m earlier this year.

McFeely built the notorious Priory Hall apartments, where 180 families were forced to leave their homes two years ago after fire hazards were identified.

The developer admitted he owes over €200m but told a court last year ago he had less than €1,200 in the bank.

Mr McFeely made a tax settlement with CAB for €8.5m in 2008. From Co Derry, McFeely served 12 years for shooting an RUC officer. The IRA man later joined the first hunger strike at Long Kesh, spending 53 days on the protest in 1980.

Commenting on the cash find, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it symbolised all that was bad in the boom years and would be investigated by Nama.

“I understand that an inch by inch survey has been carried out both on this residence and on the grounds of the premises to see if there’s any more there. All of that smacks of what happened during the so-called Tiger years when you had prolificacy and greed and money sloshing around in so many places. This is further evidence of what happened.

“Nama have a clear interest in this. We’ll see what transpires from the investigation that is currently under way.”

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