Property developer moves to the US

NAAS-based businessman Jerry Conlan has moved to America.

NAAS-based businessman Jerry Conlan has moved to America.

Mr. Conlan, a native of Kildare town, was one of the country’s best known property developers.

He was involved in many land transactions and developments in Ireland and abroad, including the opening of Millennium Business Park in Naas, although the value of these holdings has plummeted since 2007.

Mr. Conlan, a former student at Newbridge College, could not be contacted by the Leader but it is believed he is currently residing in Rhode Island. Up to recently he lived with his wife Margaret and their children at Furness, on the outskirts of Naas.

A member of the family which owned the Kildare Chilling Co. livestock and sheep processing business in Kildare town, Mr. Conlan initially attended agricultural college and worked for a period in France before embarking on a career in property development, initially investing in the Central Hotel on Dublin’s Exchequer Street.

Mr. Conlan is also involved in private hospital developments at Mount Carmel in Dublin 14, Kilkenny and Sligo.

He co-owned the 400 acre Millennium Park which was sold for €320m in 2006; although much of it remains unoccupied today.

Another co-owner and Naas resident Dermot O’Rourke, failed in a High Court bid in May 2011 to secure orders against three people including Gerry Prendergast of Moortown, Naas.

Mr. O’Rourke sought a total of €22m including interest of 30% a year and the case related to the sale of Millennium Park.

Mr. Conlan was also mentioned during a failed court action by Athgarvan businessman Philip Lynch, which concluded last December. Mr. Lynch and his family claimed they were not liable for a €25m loan taken out from AIB for land near Waterford city which is now said to be worth between €3-4m.

Mr. Conlan was also involved in that deal and the aim was to build a shopping and retail centre but the property market collapsed in the meantime.

More recently Mr. Conlan was identified as one of the so-called Maple 10.

This was a group of property speculators and builders who were given loans totalling an estimated €1.1bn by Anglo Irish Bank to buy shares in the doomed bank in a bid to save it. The group also included business tycoon Sean Quinn

The value of Anglo shares was wiped out when the bank was nationalised in January 2009.

- Paul O’Meara