herald

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Bust developer's wife gets €9,000 a month expenses

Larry O'Mahony. Photo: Mark Condren
Larry O'Mahony. Photo: Mark Condren

PRIORY Hall residents have expressed shock over the allocation of €9,000 in monthly living expenses to a developer's wife.

The wife of bankrupt developer Larry O'Mahony has been allocated the expenses to pay for private school fees and golf subscriptions.

Mr O'Mahony is a former business partner of Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely.

His wife, Christine Connolly, had asked the High Court for €10,000 a month to include up to €3,500 for the rent of a four-bedroom home in Dublin 4.

She also sought €1,644 for school fees and extracurricular expenses for her three children.

Rogue

Her requests extended to €820 for monthly car expenses and €165 for a golf subscription.

Mr O'Mahony was once the business partner of rogue developer Tom McFeely whose company, Coalport Ltd, built the Priory Hall apartments.

In 2012, Mr O'Mahony succeeded in overturning a conviction and suspended sentence for alleged fire-safety breaches at the Donaghmede apartments.

He argued that he never had any role in Coalport.

Ms Connolly yesterday secured court orders allowing the family living expenses of €9,000 a month out of around €1m in frozen monies.

Priory Hall residents' spokesman Graham Usher said the figure seemed "incredibly large" for day-to-day expenses.

The application originally arose in an action brought by IBRC against Portal Properties LLC, Ms Connolly and Mr O'Mahony regarding a €2.5m loan allegedly advanced to Portal in 2006 by Irish Nationwide Building Society, which has since been taken over by IBRC, to buy a property in Portugal. The couple have denied the claims.

The amount of living expenses sought was opposed by IBRC whose lawyer argued that, while Ms Connolly and her husband Mr O'Mahony had "lived a Celtic Tiger lifestyle" when they had wealth, they did not have that any more and should adjust.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said Ms Connolly had last June sought living expenses of €8,176 a month.

Repossessed

This did not include rent as the family were living in the Shrewsbury Road home that NAMA had repossessed, and that sum was cut to €6,500.

Ms Connolly was now seeking an additional €3,750 a month to rent one of two properties that looked "attractive and desirable", the judge said.

It was accepted there would be some top-up of the €6,500 figure to meet rental costs. Judge Birmingham considered the appropriate figure for monthly expenses was €9,000.

hnews@herald.ie

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