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Banker son 'ruined' over house deals

THE son of an elderly woman suing a bank and a firm of solicitors over a series of transactions which allegedly left her without a home and a €2m debt said he had been ruined trying to secure her future care.

"My attempts to provide for my mother have failed utterly," Jonathan Ryan told the Commercial Court

He made the comment in a statement to the court in proceedings by him and his wife Paula Ryan and by his mother Elizabeth (88), who is a suffering from dementia, over the transactions and legal advice surrounding them.

Elizabeth, through her court-appointed ward, is suing AIB and Joynt and Crawford Solicitors, Anglesea Street, Dublin, claiming they were in breach of their duty of care when Jonathan decided to secure his mother's future by selling off her home and his own family home which were on adjoining sites at Castlepark Road/Breffni Lane, Sandycove, Dublin.

Jonathan, who works for the Dutch-owned bank ING in its Dublin office, and his wife Paula, who works in IT for AIB, are also suing the same solicitors for breach of professional duty in relation to the advice given during the transactions.

Dementia

The defendants deny the claims, with the bank accusing Jonathan and Paula Ryan of fraudulent misrepresentation by not telling it that their mother was suffering from dementia. The Ryans deny this.

Mr Ryan told counsel for Elizabeth Ryan, that in the early 2000s he became concerned about the mental health of his mother, who lived alone.

Mr Ryan and his wife decided to sell their own house and his mother's house and use the funds to buy another house suitable for all their needs as well as establish a €1m fund for Elizabeth's future care.

They found Khyber Lodge, Dalkey, and decided – even though they had not sold the other houses – to pay €3.5m for it. By the time they did sell, the property bubble had burst with Mr Ryan's house achieving €1.95m. His mother's house eventually sold for €1.4m in 2010.

Even though most of the proceeds of these sales went to pay off the €4.1m loan, there was still a debt to AIB of nearly €2m.

The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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