Former IRA hunger striker Thomas McFeely, 64, was declared bankrupt at the High Court in Dublin this week. McFeely, a former IRA hunger striker, was declared bankrupt in the UK earlier this year, but his bankruptcy was then challenged by Dublin woman Theresa McGuinness, to whom he owes more than $122,610.
A London court rescinded the bankruptcy decision after it found that McFeely failed to reveal that he was the subject of bankruptcy proceedings in Ireland.
Justice Elizabeth Dunne ruled on Tuesday that McFeely's centre of main interest was the Republic of Ireland and not the UK as he had claimed. McGuinness argued that McFeely had lived and traded in Dublin for 20 years and that his companies were registered at an address on Holles Street in the City. Further, she said his home address was located at Ailesbury Road in Dublin and this was also where his wife and two youngest children lived.
According to RTE, McGuinness also argued that McFeeley continued to be involved in his company Coalport, registered in Ireland, and that he owed significant debts to the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), the body created by the Irish government in response to the Irish financial crisis, of around $245 million.
McFeely, who was born in Derry in Northern ireland, had claimed he was a British citizen and had been living in London since 2009.
Justice Dunne said McFeely's claim to have lived full-time in London since 2009 was bluntly contradicted by the affidavit of his wife and by other company documents filed in the UK. Justice Dunne said McFeely had not listed his Irish bank accounts in the UK bankruptcy proceedings and had not mentioned that he was involved in legal proceedings in Ireland.
The judge concluded that McFeely's centre of main interest was in Ireland and she adjudicated McFeely a bankrupt. McFeely's lawyers have indicated that they intend to appeal her decision.
McFeely was not in court during the proceedings.
A warrant for his arrest has already been issued by the Dublin District Court after he failed to comply with an order to pay instalments on a debt of just over $29,452 to MCR Personnel, a company that specializes in recruiting for construction firms.
Meanwhile NAMA has been granted a possession order over the house on Ailesbury Road and McFeely's family were given until today to move out.
The Irish Supreme Court is also due to rule on McFeely's appeal against a three-month prison sentence imposed by the Irish High Court for his failure to fix serious fire safety problems at the Priory Hall development in north Dublin. 256 residents of the development are still being housed in temporary accommodation and are locked into a protracted resolution process with various banks and with Dublin City Council.
Happy Earth Day! Ireland sure looks gorgeous from outer space