High Court grants Mareva injunction against Galway businessman

The High Court has made orders temporarily freezing the assets of a Co Galway businessman who AIB claims gave untrue evidence when being cross examined about his assets before the Master of the High Court.

The application for the Mareva injunction was obtained by AIB Mortgage bank against Mr Joe McCaul from Roveagh Kilcolgan Co Galway, and two others preventing his assets from being reduced below a value of €2.37m

Mr McCaul is the owner of a shopping centre in Clarinbridge Co Galway and several properties around Galway and in Co Cavan. The bank appointed a receiver over the properties after obtaining a judgment for €2.37m against Mr McCaul in 2015, AIB’s counsel Paul Gunning Bl told the court.

As part of AIB’s efforts to execute that judgment Mr McCaul was cross examined about his assets before the Master of the High Court last week.

During the course of the examination counsel said Mr McCaul was asked about the whereabouts of approximately €1m in rental income he received from several properties collected during the period from January 2012 to July 2015.

Mr McCaul, counsel said, denied any involvement in collecting rent during that period and said he had put the properties into a private and irrevocable trust.

Mr McCaul said agents of the trust collected the rent and he (McCaul) had no involvement in the collection and said he did not know where those rent monies have gone, counsel said.

Counsel said this sworn evidence given by Mr McCaul directly contradicts evidence obtained by the bank through its receivers.

It includes a rent receipt signed by Mr McCaul confirming to a tenant that rents and management fees had been paid up until December 2015 and confirmation of a rent reduction agreed with the tenant in May 2015.

It is also claimed by the bank that Mr McCaul concluded an agreement for rent reduction on another of his properties if rent in 2015 was paid in cash.

Counsel said that Mr McCaul who did not give many details about the trust during his cross examination before the master.

The bank now fears that the alleged dishonesty shown by failing to answer questions truthfully during the cross examination shows that Mr McCaul will attempt to dissipate his assets.

Counsel said that because of these the bank sought an an order preventing Mr McCaul from reducing, dissipating or transferring his assets below €2.37m. The court also made an order directing Mr McCaul to disclose the full value and location of all his assets.

Similar orders were also granted in respect of Mr McCaul’s assets against Mr McCaul’s wife Ms Mary Harrison and Mr Charles Allen of Prior Park Assets, Friars Lough, Leighlinbridge Co Carlow.

The orders were sought against those parties because Mr McCaul has said in correspondence that Mr Allen is a representative of the Trust Executives. The bank sought an order against Ms Harrison over fears her bank accounts may be used by her husband.

The orders were granted on an ex parte basis by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan who adjourned the matter for a week.

By Aodhan O’Faolain, Ireland International News Agency Ltd.

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