NAMA developer Gerry Gannon owes Ireland’s “bad bank” $1.3 billion (€1 bn) however he continues to live a lavish lifestyle.
The Irish broadcaster, RTE’s show “Primetime” pictured the developer and his wife loading their large jeep up with shopping bags from one of Ireland’s most expensive department stores, Brown Thomas. The Evening Herald reported that his wife, Margaret, could hardly fit their shopping in to the car.
As the rest of Ireland cuts back this Christmas the documentary showed many developers with huge houses listed in their wives names, helipads outside their holiday homes and racehorses bringing in massive income. “Primetime” also discovered that most had transferred properties into their wives names.
The documentary focused on Gannon’s actions. He owns $1 billion to the banks but has transferred over 24 properties into his wife’s name. Although they live in a multi-million dollar home in Sutton on the Howth Peninsula, in the North of Dublin their records also show that Margaret owns:
- 74 hectares in Loughglynn, Co Roscommon
- Greenfield in north Dublin
- Apartments in Portmarnock and Malahide
- A Victorian house in Dublin 4
- Houses in Cabinteely, Templegue, Artane and Clontarf
- Cork-based developer Michael O'Flynn was filmed using his company helicopter, an eight-seater Augusta, to fly to race meetings.
Frank Daly, the Head of NAMA said that he understands how the public feels and feels the “same degree of being let down and degree of anger".
NAMA is yet to take legal action against Gannon or any of the other developers.
Minister of State at the Department of Finance Martin Mansergh said they would "try peaceful persuasion" to get developers hand over their assets.
On Wednesday Fine Gael's Brian Hayes called on NAMA to take legal action and begin to seize properties.
He said "I think most people would find it astonishing that after two years of NAMA we are having this debate…I don't buy the line that what happened was the responsibility of everybody. What happened was the responsibility of relatively few."