Local businessman ordered to repay €26 million loan

Waterford businessman Philip Lynch’s appeal over a €26 million judgment secured against him in 2011 has been rejected by the Supreme Court.

The loan was issued to fund the purchase of 86 acres at Kilbarry, where a shopping centre and retail development had been planned.

The loans in question were given by Allied Irish Banks to the Lynch family to buy the lands in conjunction with developer Gerry Conlon in 2007. At the time, it was predicted that the deal would net about €20m profit for the Lynches. Following the property bust, however, the land was valued at between €3m and €4m.

Mr Lynch and his family sued AIB in 2010, saying that the loan was issued on a ‘non-recourse’ basis, meaning the bank would be unable to pursue them for the other assets if the loan wasn’t repaid. They also sued solicitor firms LK Shields and Matheson Ormsby Prentice (MOP), both of which provided advice on various aspects of the land purchase. The family lost this case in the High Court.

AIB was granted judgment orders, in December 2011, for €26m each against Mr Lynch, his wife Eileen and their grown up children Judith, Paul, Philippa and Therese. This decision was appealed by Mr Lynch.

Despite finding against Mr Lynch, the Supreme Court has allowed the appeal of his wife and children over the judgment to proceed.

Mr Lynch is the former chief executive of IAWS and head of investment group One51, which owns Irish Pride and a stake in energy and roads firm NTR, as well as other assets.

Michelle Clancy.

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