Former Irish tycoons Bernard McNamara and Sean Fitzgerald are both facing bankruptcy after private investors mounted a fresh attempt to force McNamara into insolvency, while Fitzgerald’s bid to avoid bankruptcy seems set to fail.
McNamara the Clare-born builder turner property developer is being pursued by a group of investors seeking up to 40 properties
McNamara, whom the Sunday Times dubbed ‘the man who lost everything’, is being pursued by creditors on two separate fronts, according to Court and media reports. Investors to the failed Glass Bottle venture in Dublin dockland are out hunting for their money, while a second group seeking €2.24m has emerged also seeking to claim debts owed to them. It seems that the combined debt will push the developer into bankruptcy.
The Dublin sheriff has already moved to seize paintings and other valuables from McNamara’s home on Dublin’s exclusive Ailesbury Road to help pay off some of the debts owed, though its believed that he will now be forced into official bankruptcy, which in Ireland lasts for 12 years and forces the bankrupt to submit to onerous restrictions on travel, borrowing, and running a business.
Businessmen Gary Smith and Ivor Dougan also came before the High Court yesterday seeking a declaration from Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne that McNamara be declared bankrupt on foot of a €2.24m judgment the pair obtained against him last February.
Bernard Dunleavy, McNamara’s attorney, said that his client was seeking to have the bankruptcy petition dismissed. McNamara’s legal counsel is believed to be challenging the petition on several technicalities centering around securities tied to the debt which allegedly have not been complied with.
The greatest threat to McNamara’s solvency to date was a €62.5m judgment obtained against the former multi-millionaire by Lochlainn Quinn and Martin Naughton last January.
Meanwhile the former Anglo Irish Bank chief Sean Fitzpatrick has secured temporary protection from the Court preventing creditors from taking legal action against him as he tries to put in place an arrangement to settle his debts, though his bid to avoid bankruptcy is likely to fail, according to legal sources.