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bankruptcy Former rugby international Peter Clohessy and family given six months to vacate home


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Peter Clohessy has been given six months to leave his family home

Peter Clohessy has been given six months to leave his family home

Peter Clohessy has been given six months to leave his family home

Former rugby international Peter Clohessy is to lose his family home after the High Court ruled it can be sold due to his bankruptcy.

However, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys placed a six-month postponement on an order requiring Mr Clohessy, his wife and their three children to vacate the property.

Mr Clohessy, nicknamed the Claw, was adjudicated by the High Court as bankrupt in 2017.

He had been involved in several bar and restaurant businesses that got into difficulties.

A statement of affairs filed on his behalf as part of his bankruptcy proceedings showed that in late 2016 he had debts of more than €13m.

Mr Clohessy, who repre- sented Ireland 54 times between 1993 and 2002, has since been discharged.

The Official Assignee (OA) in charge of his bankruptcy, in an action against Mr Clohessy and his wife Anna Gibson Steel, sought an order sanctioning the sale of the family home at Cappamore, Co Limerick.

The OA also sought an order requiring the family to give up vacant possession of the property.

Arising out of the bankruptcy, the OA had Mr Clohessy's half share in the property vested in him.

The OA wrote to the couple offering to sell that half share back to them, with the proceeds going to creditors.

Those letters were returned to the OA as "not called for".

The court was told that the mortgage due on the property in 2019 was €236,000.

Represented in the application by Una Nesdale BL, the OA valued the property at €500,000 to €550,000.

The respondents had valued it at significantly less and opposed the application.

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In his decision, Mr Justice Humphreys was satisfied to grant the order.

Unfortunate

He said it was unfortunate the family would lose their home, from where Ms Gibson Steel conducts her business.

These were not compelling reasons to refuse the order sought in circumstances where the property offers the only prospect for creditors to be paid, and where the family have been living at the expense of creditors for four years since the adjudication.

The balance of justice favours the making of the orders sought by the OA, the judge said.

A postponement period of six months offered by the OA was reasonable, he added.

The two-year period proposed by the couple, the judge said, would impose an unwarranted delay on the creditors, who have waited long enough already.

He noted that the house was built more than 15 years ago and adjoined Mr Clohessy's 48-acre farm.

Arising out of his financial difficulties, that farm was repossessed by AIB and sold on to a fund that intends to put it on the market.

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