AIB granted €24m judgment after loan defaults in Cork and Kerry

AIB has been granted summary judgment for sums totalling around €24m against 12 businesspeople from Cork and Kerry over default on loans they had guaranteed.

AIB granted €24m judgment after loan defaults in Cork and Kerry

The 12, along with three others who have already come to an arrangement with the bank for a total of €2.5m, gave personal guarantees of between €170,000 and €3.8m on loans totalling €27m given to a company in 2008.

AIB said all 15 were liable on a several basis with limited individual liability.

The 15 are shareholders in Blagnac Investments Ltd, an Irish-registered company which holds the entire issued share capital in a Luxembourg-registered company called Blagnac Investments Sarl.

This company in turn owns the entire share capital in 2 Rue Dieudonne Costes SAS, which is a company incorporated in France and which owns the Radisson Blu Hotel on Rue Dieudonne Costes, Toulouse, France.

The money was loaned to the French-registered company which was guaranteed and indemnified by the 15.

The loan was due to be repaid by September 29, 2013, but the borrower company defaulted and the bank demanded repayment from the guarantors of a total of just over €27m, inclusive of interest, by July 20, 2015, AIB said.

Despite demand letters, the defendants failed, refused, or neglected to repay, it said.

The 12 were: Seamus O’Mahony, Old Chapel, Bandon, Co Cork (who had liability for around €2.3m); Tom Kingston, Corran, Waterfall, Cork, and John Gaffney, Ballyleigh, Waterfall (who had joint liability for €3.89m); Jeremiah Galvin, Lower Muckross Rd, Killarney, Co Kerry (€1.69m liability); Chris and Marina Kay, Dromderrig, Kinsale, Co Cork (€947,367); Barry Harte, Main St, Timoleague, Co Cork (€1.15m); Tim Smyth, Bridgewater, Crosshaven, Co Cork (€472,873); Sam Russell, Delford Drive, Rochestown, Cork (€472,873 also); Connor Phelan, Phelan’s Pharmacy, Carrigaline, Co Cork (€1.68m); Brendan O’Shea, Rochfordstown, Waterfall, Cork (€1.68m); and Mark O’Shea, Glendale Flowers, Waterfall (€1.68m also).

The other three were: PJ Flynn, Castlewoods, Old Chapel, Bandon, who consented to judgment against him for €1.68m last month; Donal Kelleher, Belfry Heights, Bandon, Co Cork, who guaranteed €170,000; and Ray Reidy, Greenfields, Ballincollig, who guaranteed €674,182. Mr Kelleher and Mr Reidy also came to an arrangement with the bank.

The 12 sought a full hearing of AIB’s claim for judgment against them as they had a defence to the claim.

Mr Justice Max Barrett refused to send the matter for full hearing, granting AIB summary judgment against the remaining 12. He said the threshold for granting summary judgment was low.

The court “though painfully conscious on a human level of the financial toll its conclusion may bring” was regretfully coerced as a matter of law into granting summary judgment, he said.

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