Former billionaire Sir Anthony O’Reilly,78, has had his application to stay repayment of his debt to Allied Irish Bank of $30 million refused by a Dublin judge. O’Reilly had been seeking a six month stay.

O’Reilly who is now allegedly insolvent with debts of $250 million had argued that an orderly disposition of his debts was important but that a free for all might now ensue with other creditors.

However Judge Peter Kelly, in a lengthy written statement ,held that Allied Irish Bank could immediately collect the debt owed.

O’Reilly once Ireland’s leading businessman, lost heavily on Waterford Crystal shares and also spent hundreds of millions trying to retain ownership of Independent Newspapers.

His lawyers say much of his debt can be discharged after the sale of Castlemartin his stately home and land property in County Kildare.

O’Reilly was co-founder of the American Ireland Fund and former CEO of Heinz in the USA as well as a former Irish rugby international.