McConnon ordered to pay back 32m to Zurich

Monaghan-based retailer Jim McConnon has been ordered to pay back €32m he borrowed from Zurich to build a shopping centre in Castleblayney.

Justice George Birmingham said he could see no basis for absolving McConnon from liability to repay even though he found it bizarre that Zurich handed over the money at such speed.

The judge said McConnon was not a gullible borrower and pointed out that he had already invested €10m in the project before Zurich entered the scene.

The bank is now allowed take steps to recover their money.

Meanwhile, Bank of Ireland has made an agreement with Brian and Mary O’Donnell, a couple who owe the bank €70m.

The Commercial Court was told today that both parties had reached an agreement after the bank started proceedings yesterday.

The solicitor and his wife have shareholdings in companies across the globe that together owe lenders about €800m.

The judge referred to the McConnon ruling, stating he agreed with Justice Birmingham.