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Thursday 21 November 2019

Pamela and husband could face threat of prison in home row

Ronan Ryan and Pamela Flood owe a €1.2m mortgage debt on their Clontarf house. Photo: sunpix
Ronan Ryan and Pamela Flood owe a €1.2m mortgage debt on their Clontarf house. Photo: sunpix

Former Miss Ireland Pamela Flood and her husband, restaurateur Ronan Ryan, could be facing imprisonment within the next 48 hours for breaching court orders relating to their home.

Barrister Rudi Neuman told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court that tomorrow he would be asking her to set aside an insolvency protective order, which leaves Mr Ryan temporarily untouchable by creditors.

Mr Neuman, who appeared for private equity fund Tanager, said that, as an alternative, Tanager would be seeking leave to execute a repossession order she made against the couple - with their approval - four months ago.

Reposession

In the event of the court granting Tanager these reliefs, Judge Linnane's decision will be followed by an application for an order attaching and committing Mr Ryan and Ms Flood to prison for contempt of court.

The applications will be made to Judge Linnane in the presence of solicitors and counsel appearing for Mr Ryan and Ms Flood, who was joined to possession proceedings as a notice party following her marriage to Mr Ryan.

The couple have their young children living in the €900,000 house in Mount Prospect Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3.

The couple owe a €1.2m mortgage debt on the property, which they consented to leave by July 9 at the latest after Tanager told them it would accept the proceeds of a sale of the property.

This was to wipe out the remainder of their overall debt and allow them to vacate without having to pay a penny for legal costs.

Judge Linnane has been told that the couple reneged on their get-out undertaking and, only three weeks before the July 9 deadline, Mr Ryan had gone to a personal insolvency practitioner (PIP). The PIP brought an application before specialist insolvency judge, Verona Lambe, obtaining the insolvency protective certificate, which protects him from his creditors for 70 days.

Unless overturned, the protective certificate has another 35 days to run.

Mr Neuman told the court yesterday that Tanager had unsuccessfully made an application to Judge Lambe to vacate her protection order, despite her having ruled that she considered Mr Ryan to have breached Section 118 of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012.

Liabilities

The section states that a debtor is under an obligation to act in good faith and make full disclosure [to the PIP] of all their assets, income and liabilities and "of all other circumstances that are reasonably likely to have a bearing" on an application for protection under the Insolvency Act.

The court has already heard last March that Mr Ryan and Ms Flood - who is personally not protected under the insolvency protective certificate - failed to make any repayments of the mortgage debt for just short of 10 years, apart from a payment in February.

However, Ms Flood has told the Sunday Independent the couple made five payments to Tanager since March this year.

Judge Linnane granted Tanager to serve the couple's legal team with short notice of its intention to seek the several reliefs it requires before the court tomorrow.

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