A GALWAY builder has told the High Court he is receiving Garda protection after money was borrowed from “guys in Limerick” on his behalf.
James Clancy, Eagle Rock, Furbo, Co Galway, was called to the witness box by Mr Justice Brian McGovern in a case where ACC Asset Finance is seeking to gain information about assets in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere. A judgment for €3.29 million was made against Mr Clancy in April 2009.
In May 2009, Mr Justice Peter Kelly made an order against him in relation to the furnishing of documents. Mr Clancy was sent to Mountjoy prison for 14 days in April for contempt.
Mr Justice McGovern yesterday said Mr Clancy was “facing a considerable amount of time in jail” if he did not produce the information that was being sought from him.
His solicitor, Owen Swaine, of Swaine solicitors, Galway, said Mr Clancy had recently changed solicitor and there was a significant amount of documentation to read.
He said Mr Clancy travelled to Dubai to get information about a bank account there and had assured his solicitor he was getting access to all documents that were under his control.
Mr Justice McGovern said Mr Swaine appeared to be relying on what he was being told by his client. “I have found Mr Clancy to be totally unreliable in terms of what he told the court.”
Shane Murphy, SC for ACC Asset Finance, said it appeared there were assets in Dubai but Mr Clancy was not taking any steps to identify them.
Among the documents handed over was a copy of an Emirates bank draft for 550,000 dirhams (€121,884 ) made out to a company called Blue Line Chemicals.
Mr Swaine said an associate of Mr Clancy, Stephen Graham, had borrowed this money from “undesirable elements” in Limerick and the money was used to secure the release of equipment in the Emirates. The court heard Mr Clancy bought the equipment for €4.8 million as part of an intended joint venture building project.
Mr Swaine said the equipment was now in a warehouse but there were storage charges and other debts associated with it. Mr Clancy, he said, was now under “24-hour protection” due to the loan from the people in Limerick.
Mr Clancy, when called to the witness box, told Mr Murphy there were no gardaí in court but that there were regular checks on his home.
The situation with “the guys in Limerick” was a very serious one and he did not want to identify the people concerned.
Mr Justice McGovern said it was starting to look like a criminal case rather than one that belonged in the Commercial Court.
Mr Clancy would go to jail if he did not comply with Mr Justice Kelly’s order. He set July 22nd as a date for hearing and agreed that a witness summons would be issued for Det Garda Michael Staunton of concerning Garda protection.