#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 7 December 2021

Wallace doesn't expect ACC to force him into bankruptcy

The under-pressure developer says banks have nothing to gain by pursuing him for loans he simply can’t afford to repay.

The Italian Quarter on Dublin's Ormond Quay is one of the three Wallace properties taken into receivership by ACC Bank.
The Italian Quarter on Dublin's Ormond Quay is one of the three Wallace properties taken into receivership by ACC Bank.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

INDEPENDENT WEXFORD TD Mick Wallace has said that he doesn’t believe his creditors will pursue him for personal guarantees he offered over his business’s loans – saying there would simply be no merit to do so.

It emerged yesterday that a receiver had been appointed by the now Dutch-owned ACC Bank, to which M&J Wallace owes around €20m, had appointed a receiver to three of the company’s properties.

Those properties include a development site in Rathgar, the Italian Quarter on Dublin’s north quays, and the Behan Square apartment complex on Russell Street near Croke Park.

Confirmation of the appointment of the receiver, Declan Taite of financial advisers FGS, came in yesterday’s issue of the State’s official journal, Iris Oifigiúil.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime yesterday, Wallace acknowledged that the appointment was a “difficult” time, and said he had hoped the banks would show a little more patience with him as he tried to trade out of his difficulties.

“From January 2008 we’ve had a very tough time dealing with the banks, obviously with ACC in particular… I’ve done my best to work with them; we were as straight as we could be with them.”

Last week, he said, ACC had demanded the immediate repayment of an outstanding loan of €18.4m on a loan which was subject to interest of 20 per cent – a rate he said had been implied because the loans were “not performing”.

But the Wexford TD said there was little point to any bank trying to pursue him for the personal guarantees he had offered, because it would “cost them money” to force him into bankruptcy.

The costs to a bank of pursuing him for the debts, when he would have no way of paying them back, did not make financial sense, he said.

Most of the 50 jobs at the properties taken into receivership were safe for now, Wallace explained, because the wine bars at the Italian Quarter and Behan Square were operated by Wallace Calcio Ltd, which was not affected by the move.

If ACC or other banks were to pursue him personally for the loans, Wallace could face a court order forcing him to hand over his TDs’ salary of €92,000 a year – or force him into bankruptcy, a move which would disqualify him from membership of the Dáil.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

Read next: