The judge says claims against former Limerick City FC owner Danny Drew should be reported to gardaí

The order came three weeks after the court rejected an attempt by Danny Drew, the former chairman of now-defunct Limerick City FC, to have debts worth €3.2 million written off under a personal insolvency agreement (PIA).

On October 2, personal insolvency practitioner John O’Callaghan withdrew the PIA application after a private investigator provided evidence that Mr Drew had misrepresented his place of residence.

Mr Drew (49) claimed he lived full-time at a property in Cashel, Co Tipperary, which was subject to a mortgage from AIB. However, an investigator from creditor O’Sullivan Fuels, of Askeaton, Co Limerick, watched him for nine days at a rented property in Fota, Co Cork.

“It occurs to me that the creditors or the lawyer should bring this matter to the attention of the Garda authorities.”

The disclosure undermined the PIA application because a debtor must have a debt at their principal private residence, which is defined in the Personal Insolvency Act as the place where they habitually reside, to be eligible.

It was the second time Mr Drew had failed to get a PIA approved. A previous application was dismissed by the High Court in 2021 on a similar issue.

When the case returned to court for a costs hearing on Monday morning, Judge Alexander Owens said: “It occurs to me that the creditors or the solicitor should bring this matter to the attention of the Garda authorities.”

The judge said debtors had a duty to provide accurate information to the court and it was a criminal offense not to do so.

“In order to maintain public confidence in personal insolvency legislation, it is necessary that action is taken against those who make serious misrepresentations in their applications,” he said.

Market’s Field, the former ground of Limerick FC. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Mr Justice Owens also awarded the costs of the redemption application to O’Sullivan Fuels, represented by Michael Connolly BL, and another creditor, Dublin firm Credebt Exchange Limited, represented by Tom Murphy BL.

Mr Drew was not present in court at the time of the order.

However, he arrived in the courtroom later and the judge agreed to hear from him on Monday afternoon. The businessman apologized for not being present earlier and said he had submitted an affidavit.

He denied misleading the court about his main private residence and asked the judge not to impose a costs order on him.

Mr Drew insisted he lived in Cashel and claimed the period he was observed in Fota coincided with a 17-day stay there while his daughter was in hospital in Cork.

“I have to say, I have serious suspicions about you. But I’m just not able to resolve this issue without verbal testimony.

Mr Justice Owens quashed the costs order he had made hours earlier, saying he now felt he did not have sufficient evidence to decide the matter.

However, he gave creditors the freedom to bring the matter back to court if they wanted a “hearing with oral testimony” from witnesses “for determination.”

The judge turned to Mr Drew and said: “I must say I have serious suspicions about you. But I am simply unable to resolve this issue without verbal testimony.”

Mr Justice Owens also reiterated his view that gardaí should be made aware of the matter.

“It is a serious matter if you have actually misled the authorities about your actual residence,” he said.

As well as owning a football club in the 2000s, Mr Drew also owned several businesses including food businesses and a petrol station and supermarket in Turner’s Cross, Cork.

Failing to obtain a PIA puts him at risk of bankruptcy.

An insolvency application filed by Credebt was postponed until the completion of the personal insolvency proceedings.


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