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€25m deal was 'a minor detail' in life

AN investment group CEO Philip Lynch said a €25m deal in 2006/07 to buy development lands in Waterford was "a minor detail" in his life at the time.

Mr Lynch of One51 also said he could not let developer Gerry Conlan -- who was involved in the Waterford deal with Mr Lynch -- be described as "a gambler".

Mr Conlan "is not a gambler and I would hate anyone to say that about him..."

This remark was a response to alleged advice by businessman Paschal Taggart, who was involved with both the Lynch and Conlan families, to Mr Lynch to the effect, if Mr Lynch "played with" Mr Conlan, he would lose, as Mr Conlan was "a gambler".

Mr Lynch also denied a suggestion he never had any arrangement with Mr Conlan whereby he (Lynch) could have exited the Waterford deal at any time, and at a profit, prior to the Lynch family signing up to a €25m loan facility with Allied Irish Banks (AIB) for that deal on February 8, 2007.

The Commerical Court heard of other loan facilities made available to Mr Lynch and members of his family by institutions including Anglo Irish Bank, AIB, Bank of Ireland Private Banking and Ulster Bank.

Those loans were advanced for several purposes, including property investments and to purchase shares in Third Force plc and One51, the court heard.

Mr Lynch was giving evidence in the continuing action by him, his wife Eileen and their four children -- Judith, Paul, Phillipa and Therese -- against AIB and two firms of solicitors aimed at preventing the bank pursuing them over the €25m loan advanced in February 2007 towards the purchase of 86 acres at Kilbarry, Waterford, for development purposes.

The family claim the loan was advanced on a non-recourse basis. They have also alleged negligence against two firms of solicitors -- Lk Shields and Matheson Ormsby Prentice -- in relation to alleged advice concerning the deal and are claiming indemnities. The defendants deny the claims.

The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie