Thursday 27 October 2016

'I'm a scapegoat for excesses of Celtic Tiger', says McFeely

Bankrupt Tom McFeely (Picture: PA)
Bankrupt Tom McFeely (Picture: PA)

Disgraced builder Tom McFeely claims he has been "scapegoated" as the one developer responsible "for the many wrongs and excesses of the Celtic Tiger years".

The Priory Hall developer, who has debts of over €20m, has also alleged that he was singled out because of his previous involvement with the Provisional IRA.


The astonishing outburst is contained in an affidavit he filed as part of his failed bid to emerge from bankruptcy.

Earlier this month, the High Court extended his period of bankruptcy by almost five years over McFeely's failure to cooperate with an insolvency official and "very grave" breaches of bankruptcy laws.

In the document, seen by the Herald, McFeely claimed records taken by insolvency officials from his former premises had been obtained in an irregular or illegal way.

He also accused Official Assignee Christopher Lehane of using "unsubstantiated" media reports to extend his bankruptcy term.

His allegations were rejected by the High Court.

An affidavit filed by Mr Lehane detailed how McFeely had frustrated efforts to manage his estate after he became bankrupt in 2012.

This included giving an address in Derry where it is alleged he did not live, failing to give the address where he was mainly domiciled, and refusing to give an email address and phone number.

McFeely claimed in court papers he had no email address and that Mr Lehane had deliberately avoided corresponding with him at his Derry address.


McFeely (67) also denied a report he had violently threatened a female journalist in Portugal and reports that he had been in the USA.

He claimed Mr Lehane, whose investigations led to the extension of the bankruptcy period, appeared "to be taking his lead from the media".

In the affidavit he said: "A vocal section of the media, but not all media, has displayed naked hostility towards me and my family. My story has never been told."

Despite being a staunch republican and former IRA hunger striker, McFeely said in the papers he was a British citizen.

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