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Ryan and Food to sell home in €1.2m vulture fund deal

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Pamela Flood and Ronan Ryan

Pamela Flood and Ronan Ryan

Pamela Flood and Ronan Ryan

Restaurateur Ronan Ryan is to sell the family home he shares with his wife, former Miss Ireland Pamela Flood, under a deal hammered out with a vulture fund.

The agreement will wipe out a €1.2m mortgage debt Mr Ryan owes to the Tanager fund and will leave the couple in a position to downsize to a new home.

The restaurateur said an agreement had been reached which both sides were happy with.

"It is a huge weight off our minds," he said.

A courtroom battle had been looming between the fund and the one-time proprietor of Town Bar & Grill after he last year consented to a possession order for the Dublin property, only to institute personal insolvency proceedings at the last minute after having a change of heart.

Mr Ryan (49) had been seeking court approval for an arrangement writing off €634,000 of his debts of €1.6m while keeping the family home.

But the agreement with Tanager means the matter will no longer proceed.

"It was all amicable. They are happy, we are happy, and it is being sold," Mr Ryan said.

Barrister Ross Maguire of debt management firm New Beginning was involved in brokering the deal.

The couple's home at Mount Prospect Avenue in Clontarf, where they live with their four children, has now been put on the market with an asking price of €695,000.

Mr Ryan said he would still have to resolve smaller debts owed to other creditors, Bank of Ireland and Everyday Finance. These debts have been listed in court filings as €270,000 and €91,000 respectively.

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The house in Clontarf belonging to Ronan Ryan and Pamela Flood will now be sold, wiping out the couple’s mortgage debt

The house in Clontarf belonging to Ronan Ryan and Pamela Flood will now be sold, wiping out the couple’s mortgage debt

The house in Clontarf belonging to Ronan Ryan and Pamela Flood will now be sold, wiping out the couple’s mortgage debt

Fashion

Mr Ryan was a successful restaurateur during the Celtic Tiger years, operating Town Bar & Grill on Kildare Street and Bridge Bar & Grill in Dublin's Docklands.

In 2008 he met Ms Flood (48), a former Miss Ireland who presented a number of television programmes for RTE, including fashion magazine show Off The Rails.

But South Bar & Restaurant, a business he opened in Sandyford, was not successful and he got into financial difficulty around the time of the economic crash.

Soon his lender, Bank of Scotland (Ireland), was seeking the sale of the family home and in 2012 he entered an "assisted sale" agreement.

However, according to Mr Ryan, a number of proposed sales fell through because the bank thought it could get a better offer.

"It was one financial decision in 2008 that got me here. It has been a long 12-year fall," he said.

Mr Ryan said there was a "Twitter meltdown" when it emerged in court last September that he had not made mortgage repayments for seven years.

But he said people had only seen "one side" of the story.

Under the "assisted sale" agreement with Bank of Scotland, he did not have to make any further mortgage repayments. He said he was told by the bank it just wanted the asset and repayments were irrelevant.

According to Mr Ryan, the house was close to being sold on a number of occasions but was withdrawn as the bank thought it could get a better sale price.

"Obviously they made the investment and wanted to get it back," he said.

"It looked like we pulled the chute on the sale. But we had nothing to do with it.

"We never fought once. We went with the flow."

Tanager bought the loan in 2014 and matters came to a head again last year when the fund sought and was granted a possession order.

Protection

But it did not get to execute the order after the High Court ruled last October the fund was not entitled to possession.

This was because Mr Ryan had obtained a protective certificate as part of his application for a personal insolvency arrangement, which gave him a period of protection from creditors.

Although he had originally consented to handing over the property, a court later heard he had not known personal insolvency was an option at the time.

The agreement with Tanager means that option is no longer being pursued by Mr Ryan.

Mr Ryan is currently running a contract catering company with his wife, called Counter Culture, and has a takeaway food business.