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It's a long way from penny apples, and Bill shows no sign of going back

Bill Cullen is opposing the sale of his palatial Kildare home, Osberstown House, which a bank are seeking to offload in order to settle an €8.2m debt they claim Bill owes them.

The banks, of course, are in a no-win situation. If they don't chase businessmen like Bill for the millions they owe, they are accused of being soft with the rich. If they do chase, the businessmen invariably complain that they are being victimised due to their high public profile.

Bill and his partner Jackie Lavin have been forthright in their criticisms of the bank's behaviour, and have to their credit put many of their assets up for sale - including a magnificent holiday home in Florida for €3m - to pay off their debts.


Bill has furthermore described how he has thrown himself back into work with his new car dealership, and is hitting the sales floor again, just like in the old days, as he makes a fresh start.

There is, unfortunately, one slight problem with the lengths to which he and Jackie are going to cling onto their palatial homes.

Osberstown House is not the only home they're fighting to hold onto, as Jackie is also opposing the sale of Killegy House, originally built by Bill Cullen's company, but which Jackie says she bought from that company in 2011 for €760,000.

Bill likes to portray himself as a working class hero, brought up by his bootstraps and working 28 hours a day selling clementines from his pram.

However, Bill and Jackie - are in danger of coming across as just another couple who borrowed millions, can't pay it back, but refuse to give up the trophy homes which allow them to live in the style to which they've become accustomed.

It's a long way from Penny Apples that Bill has come. By the sound of it, he's no intention of returning to them...