AIB seeks judgment of €6m from Kildare widow over loans for Rathcoole lands

Case has been fast-tracked to the Commercial Court

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AIB seeks judgment of €6m from Kildare widow over loans for Rathcoole lands

The case was heard in the Four Courts

An application by AIB for summary judgment of €6m against a woman who with her late husband acted as co guarantors of loans used to acquire properties including a shopping centre has been admitted to the fast track Commercial Court list.

AIB seeks judgment against Mrs Siobhan Smith, who it claims along with her deceased husband businessman Frank Smith agreed to act as guarantors in regards to a €50m loan it advanced to their son developer Gary Smith and his wife Amanda in 2007.

The loans were used to acquire Ashleaf Shopping Centre and 33 acres of land at Callighstown, Rathcoole in Co Dublin.

As security for those loans AIB claims it was given legal charges over the Crumlin-based shopping centre, the adjoining Submarine Bar,  the lands at Rathcoole, and a legal charge over a 20 year lease of 120 car parking spaces.  

In addition, Siobhan and Frank Smith also agreed to a joint and several guarantee in the amount of €6m as security for the loans.

In 2013, receivers were appointed over Gary Smith's assets including the shopping centre and the bar, and AIB secured a judgment for €51m against Gary Smith. 

In December 2013, Mr Gary Smith was adjudicated as a bankrupt in the UK. 

In its proceedings, AIB claims that Frank Smith, who died in 2015, had entered into a settlement with it in relation to the monies owed arising out of the guarantee. It claims that settlement was not complied with. 

AIB claims Mrs Smith, who is the executrix of her husband's estate, has failed to put forward a reasonable proposal to address her liability to the bank.

It also claims Mrs Smith, with an address at Loughcasa Lower, Barberstown, Straffan, Co Kildare, has failed to to take any steps to progress the administration of her husband's estate.

AIB which also alleges Mrs Smith has sold two properties in Spain for €1.7m,  made a demand for repayment in January 2018. However, it claims that in breach of the guarantee she has failed to pay the sum AIB says is due and owing.  

Arising out of the alleged failure to repay the monies AIB seeks judgment for €6m against Mrs Smith. 

AIB's application was admitted to the fast track Commercial Court list on Monday by Mr Justice Brian McGovern. There was no consent nor objection to the application by her lawyers. The judge made the matter returnable to a date in April.