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Mick Wallace agrees to give bank keys to Clontarf home after Christmas

The court earlier heard that Wallace threatened to burn down the property.

Mick Wallace TD arriving at the High Court.
Mick Wallace TD arriving at the High Court.
Image: SAM BOAL

Updated Dec 12th 2019, 2:50 PM

MEP MICK WALLACE informed a judge today by phone from Strasbourg that if he was allowed to spend Christmas in his now re-possessed Clontarf home, he would hand back the keys to Allied Irish Mortgage Bank in March next.

Wallace’s lawyers phoned their client after Judge Jacqueline Linnane told them that if he wanted a stay to celebrate Christmas there they would have to ring him and see if he was prepared to co-operate with the bank and hand back the keys. He told them he was and was granted a stay on the possession order for three months.

A short time earlier Judge Linnane was told Wallace had three years ago threatened the bank with an ultimatum in which he allegedly told them if they did not give him a new loan to buy an apartment in Dublin’s Temple Bar he would burn his Clontarf home at 13 Clontarf Road, Dublin 3 and would have to be carried out of it in a coffin. 

Inquiring if he had a home in Strasbourg, Judge Linnane said she had seen a photograph of him sitting having a drink on a balcony in the shade “somewhere in Europe, certainly warmer than here.” 

After granting the bank possession of Wallace’s Clontarf home the judge was asked for a three months stay on the order and insisted on him being phoned to see if he had changed his tune and would hand back the keys. 

Ten minutes later his barrister Jack Tchrakian told the court he could give an undertaking on Wallace’s behalf that he would hand back the keys in March. With regard to Wallace’s threat to burn the house, Tchrakian said “people say things in stressful situations.” 

He told Judge Linnane that Wallace would be disputing the remarks attributed to him by an AIB Mortgage Bank Sean O’Carroll. Clarifying in a sworn statement what he believed he had said to O’Carroll the failed property developer, former TD and former bankrupt conceded he had “become emotive” during the conversation. 

Judge Linnane had heard that Wallace, when refused a loan for the Temple Bar apartment, had become extremely irate and upset. He had allegedly threatened he would withdraw all co-operation with the bank which, he said, would have to take him out of the Clontarf property in a box. 

He was alleged also to have said he would burn down the house before giving it up or agreeing to the bank selling it and was prepared to go to jail if necessary.  The judge said it was obvious that in his phone call to the bank Wallace had become agitated. 

The judge said the court had earlier been told that because Wallace had obtained a better job and his finances had improved he would be able to make a better proposal and on the strength of this the court had granted two adjournments. 

When Tchrakian said Wallace’s arrangements with the official assignee in bankruptcy would end in March next year, Judge Linnane said he could not make any new arrangement because he is still tied to the official assignee (who is not opposing the banks application for possession of the Clontarf property.) 

She said Wallace had made it quite crystal clear he would be taken out of the property in a box. He is said to have threatened to burn down a house that a bank had a security in.

Barrister Brian Conroy, who appeared with David Martin of Gore and Grimes Solicitors for the bank, was asked by the court to open all sworn affidavits by the bank and Wallace as to the detailed history of the case.

The judge had earlier been told there was no sustainable solution to Wallace’s debt that did not involve his residence in Clontarf being sold. 

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Judge Linnane, granting the bank an order for possession of the property said the evidence was clear that he had defaulted on repayments on the €825,000 mortgage he had used to purchase No 13.

She said the High Court had been told in the bankruptcy proceedings that he owed €30million in secured and unsecured debts to creditors and had accepted the default situation regarding his Clontarf loan.

She said the Clontarf property was now in negative equity. Arrears now totalled €111,258 and 61c and the overall debt to the bank was €955,044.

She awarded costs against Wallace saying he had contributed to the legal costs bill by refusing to co-operate with the bank and had told them he would fight them tooth and nail until the end.

Judge Linnane also criticised Wallace for having recently sworn an affidavit over the phone from Strasbourg, something she felt would have been more properly carried out in a face-to-face meeting with his lawyers.

She felt the two main points put forward by Wallace’s legal team had no merit. Wallace did not appear in court today.

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Ray Managh

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