A FORMER Limerick hotelier has been warned he is “running out of road” in his efforts to prevent the repossession of his family home.
Bank of Ireland Mortgages has initiated legal action against Brendan Dunne and his wife, Hilda, over unpaid borrowings of €1.6 million taken out in 2004.
As part of the Circuit Court action, the bank is seeking an order for the possession of the Dunnes home – Shamrockville – on North Circular Road.
The three-storey property, which is around 4,600 square feet in size, is set on 1.3 acres and features five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a games room, library, study, conservatory, drawing room, dining room, living room and coat room.
In 2010 Shamrockville was placed on the market with an asking price of €4.5m but this was later reduced to €1.5m as the effects of the recession continued to be felt.
Earlier this year, Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the Dunnes have invested in the Paradise Beach development at Cape Verde - a group of islands off the coast of West Africa.
During a review of the case, Pat Barriscale BL, said legal issues relating to the development have now been resolved and that construction work is likely to begin by the beginning of next year.
Separately, Mr Barriscale said in recent weeks an offer has been received for Shamrockville but that agreement has not been reached with Bank of Ireland Mortgages in relation to the sale.
A condition of any sale, he said, is that the prospective buyer provide rental accommodation for the Dunnes within half a mile for a ten year period.
Limerick Circuit Court was told Bank of Ireland Mortgages does not accept the Dunnes’ valuation of the property and has indicated it would rather sell Shamrockville on the open market in a transparent fashion.
“This is a bird in the hand,” said Mr Barriscale, who said his clients have been met with an “absolute stonewall approach” by the bank who have not put forward any counter proposal.
“It just no, no, no,” he said, requesting an adjournment to allow discussions to take place.
Derek Sheahan, representing Bank of Ireland Mortgages, opposed the application for an adjournment, saying his instructions were to seek an order of possession.
Judge O’Donnell said he was willing to give matters another six months but warned Mr and Mrs Dunne that the bank was entitled to move on the property.
“I have to balance the legalities with justice and equity,” he said, adding that if he grants a possession order on the next date, he will not put a lengthy stay on the order.