October 12, 2008

Wrecking Sandymount: Fabrizia Lawyer Supports More Taxpayer Money for Banks?

In a boghole in Clara, BIFFO does the singing while another lawyer does the ballroom dancing - all to the tune of The Galway Tent.

Another lawyer for Fabrizia(a) seems to be promoting the patriotic Galway Tent agenda wherein even more money should be grabbed from taxpayers and given to those patriots, the honest banks of Ireland. This is cash beyond the €480,000,000,000 bailout.

How can it go back ? They're so greedy they actually believe our money is rightfully their money?

A certain (City) fell among Thieves-- And the Green Party Priests passed by on the other side.

The Big Lie here is The First Time Buyer, a species of spin peculiar to Ireland. The First Time Buyer is usually accompanied by The Young Couple spin, another politically-empathetic creature also peculiar to Ireland. Using the First Time Buyer spiel The Galway Tent preys on The Young Couple by keeping house prices above the market clearing price. Thus The First Time Buyer spiel is a fine tactic for putting taxpayer cash into Galway Tent pockets. A not insignificant side-benefit to The Galway Tent is the controlling 40-year ring put through the noses of the targeted Young Couple

The fact that the taxes for The First Time Buyer game will be extracted from Medical Cards, Schools, Farmers and soon-to-be ex-Dell and ex-Waterford Glass employees is omitted. After all isn't it the Developers' and Banks' money that these unpatriotic taxpayers are clutching in their greedy little hands?

(a) Fabrizia seems to be a special purpose entity or some form of corporation apparently controlled by an Irish developer named Liam Carroll. Fabrizia occupies formerly public land on Sandymount Strand.

Vested Interests – Government & DDDA.

In Tony-Soprano-speak(b) the Irish Glass Bottle (IGB) site is DDDA's Spec House. The lawyer for Fabrizia quantifies the Government's vested interest in property development at 13.5%, just from VAT. So for the proposed IGB flats the Government's vested interest from VAT would be about €270 Million. According to the dogs in the street the parties involved will most likely be driven by Revolving Doors now that brown envelopes are too visible.

And don't forget DDDA's vested interest in Becbay and the conflict of interest where DDDA decides on planning permission for property for which it shares ownership, using taxpayer cash. In June 2008, DDDAs expensively hired "public consultation" reps denied any such conflict. These brass necks have since been contradicted by a judge.

Through the vehicle of the DDDA, John Gormley excludes the public by bypassing An Bord Pleanala and thus uses large sums of taxpayer cash to spin Big Lies and to selectively withhold information, allegedly. This is the process used by Dublin City Council for the proposed Dublin Bay Incinerator at Poolbeg, allegedly.

(b) Not Tony Orlando, New Jersey CEO of Covanta, a foreign corporation contracted to run DCC's Waste-To-Toxics incinerator at Poolbeg.

Who Stole Sandymount Strand?

The Fabrizia site sits on Sandymount Strand and on special nature reserves. The area has been cynically degraded by a combination of obviously honest revolving-door officials, including the obviously honest EPA who've worked wonders in Cork Harbour.

The large section of Sandymount public beach occupied by Fabrizia
was acquired from the public by magic in a possibly totally legal process, a murky process that highly embarrasses the former Minister of Finance – a government minister whose brother was the head of AIB and has now moved through the Revolving Doors to be ESB chairman (ESB is possibly the largest generator of health degrading pollution across Dublin from Poolbeg & across Ireland from Moneypoint).

In the past six months both the Fabrizia and the IGB sites seem to have fenced off substantial additional portions of public land. Is this legal? What lawyers did they consult? Will they be fined an unprecedented €1,000 with no jail time? Or are they relying on the DDDA to do a maneuver similar to the action deemed as outside the law by the courts at the site for a new Anglo-Irish Bank HQ on the river Liffey?


[Following the collapse of the Galway Tent property pyramid scheme the lawyer organisation mentioned below seems to be about to fire a large number of staff [Sunday Tribune, Nov 2, 2008]. This organisation has plans to move into the property for which DDDA seems to have acted with a certain bias, apparently in contravention of the law. Future neighbours would be Anglo-Irish Bank, financial facilitators for the IGB site on Sandymount Strand, right beside the Fabrizia site on the foreshore].


Banks and Government culpable for super-heated property market

Crisis closes one door but opens another for legal firm

Lawyer Rory O'Donnell, chairman of O'Donnell Sweeney Eversheds, says he cannot understand the figures paid for some sites

By John Mulligan

Thursday October 09 2008

It's little wonder that Rory O'Donnell doesn't look his 69 years. The chairman of law firm O'Donnell Sweeney Eversheds is a keen and frequent ballroom dancer, but while that might help keep him trim it's no doubt a tougher prospect keeping business in tip top shape as the economic crisis continues to maul markets.

Counting some of the country's biggest developers including Liam Carroll and Joe Moran among the firm's clients, Mr O'Donnell, who originally hails from Killenard in Co Laois and founded the law firm 40 years ago, admits that it's much tougher for builders to secure financing to complete the type of deals that just a couple of years ago banks might have signed off over lunch.

He welcomes the Government's decision to stump up a €400bn guarantee for bank deposits, but says that the wheels of industry need further grease to keep the economy ticking over.

Not least of course, because that would ensure the law firm's 200 or so staff -- as well as its clients, are kept busy.


With undoubted schadenfreude in some circles that, at last, developers are feeling pain, Mr O'Donnell believes that their time will come again, albeit without the frenzied pace of construction that was the hallmark of the past decade.

He also admits that things had in some cases got way out of hand.

"I couldn't understand some of the figures that were being paid for some sites," he says, when asked if some valuations, in the capital in particular, should have rung alarm bells.

"It was hard to see how those multiples could have been arrived at without really stretching the envelope in relation to planning."

He acknowledges that property is a cyclical sector, and says that the question is not if the market will recover, but when.

But when the history books are written, will the finger of blame for the explosion and implosion of Ireland's property market be levelled squarely at the banks?

"The banks were all afraid of losing market share," he believes.

"They clearly contributed to the situation by wanting to do that. But to be fair, nobody anticipated a meltdown of the banking sector."

The banks, says Mr O'Donnell, need to stop chasing people they've lent money to while turmoil persists.

"They should carry those that deserved to be carried until they can sort themselves out. Then the banks can let the chips fall where they may."

Large developers, with so much of the banks' money tied up in schemes whose medium-term prospects look pretty grim, have so far largely escaped the hangman.

Just how long that will last is, at this stage, anyone's guess.

But equally culpable, it can be argued, is the Government itself, which effectively left the super-heated property market virtually unchecked.

It ultimately found itself in a position where it couldn't seriously tinker with stamp duty rates as there was the clear likelihood that any savings aimed at home buyers would have evaporated if builders raised prices in response. Mr O'Donnell recalls speaking to one civil servant who told him that the Government perceived the aim in relation to stamp duty as akin to "plucking feathers from a goose with the least amount of hissing".

It worked for a time, with what is effectively a tax on moving home swelling the Exchequer's coffers.

But just about everyone is hissing now.

With the budget deficit headed for €10bn this year, Mr O'Donnell points out that the Government should have a vested interest in trying to kick-start the property market as soon as possible.

"Something should be done at the bottom end of the market to encourage first-time buyers," he says.

"That would allow money to flow back to the banks and to the Government."

Mr O'Donnell points out that on a housing scheme that might have cost €100m to develop and which remains unsold, the builder will already have reclaimed the VAT.

"Effectively, the Government has a 13.5pc interest in that development until its sold, and that's a sizeable chunk.

There are many multiples of that around the country in completed and unsold developments so the Government needs to get the train restarted." But that train is undoubtedly still at the platform and the boiler's bust.

Developers, meanwhile, have already been drawing down the shutters in an effort to ride out the hurricane.

As far back as 18 months ago, according to Mr O'Donnell, many developers were already effectively closed down.

"Others are sharpening their pencils and trying to sell in a very difficult market, while very few are thinking big unless they think the end result has some reasonable prospect of selling."

Clients of O'Donnell Sweeney Eversheds -- who extend beyond property into areas such as M&A, restructuring and intellectual property, have largely been keeping their powder dry rather than actively seeking homes for their cash. "People haven't been buying. The ones with cash have been sitting tight until they see what happens."

While Mr O'Donnell's law firm has grown appreciably in recent years, it's has put the brakes on staff expansion in light of current circumstances.

That hasn't stopped it, however, from ploughing ahead with plans to move to a new HQ on Dublin's quays that will see the firm double its office space.

It has agreed to lease space in a new development planned by one of its own clients, Liam Carroll.

Mr O'Donnell sees no reason why his firm won't be able to maintain its timetable of moving to the new building by mid-2010, despite the fact that the development has become mired in what could be a protracted court case.

Treasury Holdings, which is headed by Richard Barrett and Johnny Ronan, as well as property mogul Sean Dunne, were incensed that the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) gave Mr Carroll an exemption certificate for his project despite the fact that a planning application for virtually the same development had been previously refused by Dublin City Council.

Treasury Holdings and Mr Dunne have accused the DDDA of inking an agreement that will add millions to the value of Mr Carroll's development, while diminishing the value of their own schemes adjacent to Mr Carroll's site. Mr Carroll has also succeeded in luring Anglo Irish Bank, which has committed to locating its new HQ at the development, and AIB Capital Markets, to his new scheme.

With property heavyweights now slinging accusations at each other, it seems optimistic that O'Donnell Sweeney will be calling the quays home by mid-2010.

The firm signed the deal with Liam Carroll less than a week ago, following negotiations which Mr O'Donnell says involved a "certain amount of haggling", and which ultimately secured a "very attractive financial deal".


For O'Donnell Sweeney, the move is about planning for the future, despite the dismal medium-term economic forecast.

The landscape that every business operates in will be acutely changed following the global financial upheaval.

Mr O'Donnell admits that as one door closes, another opens and is adamant his firm will help guide clients through the current crisis.

"If you work for someone for 20 years, you can't just abandon them when they get into a spot of bother."

1 comment:

The Galway Tent said...

The media has made no attempt to distinguish between economists in the ESRI, the universities and some of their own economic columnists on one hand, and on the other, larger bloc of commentators who are tied into vested interests.

Responsible commentators voices were drowned out by the more numerous commentators working for Galway Tent banks, Galway Tent stockbrokers and other Galway Tent business and property interests.

The Irish Times allocated a mere 1 per cent of 2007's hundreds of column inches of budget coverage to its economic implications.

Full November 8, 2008 article by Garret Fitzgerald is at url below; the text above is slightly edited but hopefully maintains consistency with the original article: