High Court reporters
A Personal Insolvency Arrangement has been approved by the High Court which allows a former Fianna Fáil councillor and General Election candidate to write off over €4.4 million in debt.
The PIA was approved in respect of Thomas 'Eddie' Mulligan, who will contribute a sum of just over €9,000 to his creditors, which are mostly financial funds, and in fees to fund the arrangement.
Mr Mulligan was an elected member of Waterford City and County Council between 2014 until his resignation as a councillor in August 2022.
Mr Mulligan (55) also ran for Fianna Fáil in the 2020 General Election but failed to secure a seat.
At the High Court on Monday Mr Justice Alexander Owens was told that Mr Mulligan's financial difficulties had arisen out of the economic recession in 2008.
As well as being a local politician the court heard that Mr Mulligan had served with the Irish Naval Service for many years and had worked in his family's painting and decorating business.
He had borrowed money, and had given personal guarantees in respect of loans, that were used to invest in various property assets.
Following the crash those assets lost value and their rental income decreased.
Those properties, which included retail and commercial units, are to be sold to help pay off what is owed on them the court heard.
Mr Mulligan's main creditors include Pepper Finance, Everyday Finance DAC, Bank of Ireland, and a local Credit Union.
Arising out of his difficulties and inability to pay his debts as they fell due Mr Mulligan entered the insolvency process and engaged the services of Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) Mitchell O'Brien.
Keith Farry Bl for the PIP said that under the 13-month arrangement Mr Mulligan will retain the family home, a four-bedroomed house at Knockboy, Dunmore Road, Waterford worth €425,000, which he shares with his wife and their dependent child.
Counsel said Mr Mulligan will continue to make payments on his mortgage, which is to be restructured so that the total debt due on his family home has been reduced from over €600,000 to approximately €425,000.
Counsel said it is the case that Mr Mulligan's creditors would do better under the PIA compared to if the former councillor was adjudicated as being a bankrupt.
Following the completion of the 13-month-long PIA, counsel said that Mr Mulligan will return to solvency.
There was no opposition to the Mr Farry's application to have the PIA formally approved by the court.
After considering the matter Mr Justice Owens said that he was satisfied from the evidence put before the court to approve Mr Mulligan's PIA.