High Court action over Mayo widow’s foreign property investments is settled

By Ann O’Loughlin

A widow who lost more than €400,000 she invested in foreign properties has resolved her High Court action against a financial advisor and two related companies over their alleged failure to properly advise her of the risks involved.

Ellen O’Mahony sued advisor Mr Thomas Connolly and two Castlebar based firms of which he is a director, estate agents Western Premier Properties Ltd trading as Premier Estates Maloney and financial services provider Morcon Financial Services Ltd trading as M&C Financial Services.

She claimed the defendants failed to advise her about the levels of risk involved in property investments in Dubai and Portugal.

She claimed Mr Connolly persuaded her to invest in the various projects.

She claimed the defendants consistently and recklessly misled her and misrepresented the true nature of the investments she became involved in, she also claimed.

Due to the defendants alleged negligence and breach of professional duty she claimed she suffered loss and sought damages.

The defendants, all represented by Paul McGarry SC instructed by Ferry’s solicitors, argued Mrs O’Mahony was at all times fully aware of the risk involved with the investments she entered into.

They also claimed her action was statute barred and that there was an inordinate and unacceptable delay in bringing the action against them.

She had not been misled nor was any undue pressure put on her to invest, the defendants added.

The case commenced before Mr Justice Donald Binchy on Tuesday, and adjourned for talks.

On Thursday Bernard Madden SC, instructed by John Geary Solicitors for Ms O’Mahony told the court the case had been "resolved to all parties satisfaction" and the action could be "stuck out".

In her action she claimed she made several investments after she received €1.2m after selling her late husband’s pub in Castlebar in 2007 based on representations made to her by her financial advisor.

She had sought advice from Mr Connolly from 2004 onwards and had invested in a property scheme in Germany. She invested €73,000 in that venture, which the court heard resulted in her getting her money back plus a profit of €22,000.

She claimed that she was later convinced by Mr Connolly in 2007 and 2008 to invest in properties in Dubai and Portugal totaling €410,000.

However she claimed that undue pressure was put on her to invest and she was not properly warned about the risks involved.

The claims were denied.



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