Sir Anthony O’Reilly: One of the biggest figures in Irish America, revealed some fascinating insights and paradoxes.Photocall

Former Heinz CEO and Independent Newspapers owner Anthony O’Reilly is insolvent, Allied Irish Bank has claimed.

The bank is owed $30 million, a sum that O’Reilly does not dispute. The 78-year-old O’Reilly experienced huge business setbacks during the recent recession and may well be the biggest casualty of the Celtic Tiger downfall.

The bank claims that O’Reilly owes $240 million personally to all debtors.

Judge Peter Kelly heard that O’Reilly owed almost 12 percent of that to the bank.

Other creditors, it was revealed, were content to wait until a deal was worked out, but AIB was worried about its share being repaid.

O’Reilly lives in the Bahamas but has been in Dublin during the hearings. He has put his lavish Castlemartin estate in Kildare on the market.

He is seeking a six-month stay before AIB, itself rescued from bankruptcy by the state, forecloses. The bank described the request as “threadbare” and is opposing it.

O’Reilly lost control of Independent Media to Denis O’Brien after a pitched battle. He also invested heavily and lost on Waterford Crystal stock.