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Will he use EUR20m to pay off his 'toxic' loan to Nama? GANNON'S PAYDAY.


A TD last night demanded an explanation after a property tycoon who was bailed out by taxpayers has been awarded a EUR20million storage contract.

K Club co-owner Gerry Gannon's toxic loans are being absorbed by bad bank Nama - but the state is also about to write him an incredible EUR1million-a-year cheque for providing storage for the National Museum, The Irish Daily Mirror has learned.

The term of the contract is 20 years, meaning he will have earned EUR20million by 2030 on a site that will effectively be owned by taxpayers under Nama.

Mr Gannon paid just EUR12million for the storage site, meaning he is in line to make an EUR8million profit.

The bizarre deal caused a storm of criticism last night, with Labour's Joan Burton demanding the Office of Public Works publishes the details of how its contract with Mr Gannon was negotiated.

She said: "Will he [Gannon] be using this money to pay off his loans which are being transferred into Nama?"

Mr Gannon, one of the top 10 developers whose loans are being transferred into the bad bank this week, will pick up a cheque for EUR1million every year for the next 20 years.

The OPW confirmed the deal, which involves the developer providing storage at the site of the old Motorola Factory in Swords, North Co Dublin.

A spokesman said: "I can confirm that the former Motorola facility in Swords has been secured on behalf of the National Museum of Ireland.

"The landlord is Gerry Gannon, the lease is for 20 years and the annual rent is EUR1million."

Deputy Burton yesterday called on the OPW to publish full details of the contract it negotiated with Mr Gannon.

She said: "Given the fact that rents and property values have fallen dramatically, the rent appears to be very high.

"It would be interesting to see the details of when and how this lease was negotiated."

The Labour TD added she hopes the developer uses the money to pay off loans that are being transferred into Nama.

Even though they are being bailed out, developers will be pursued for the debts.

She said: "I'm sure it will come as a relief to the owner because it certainly seems like a very high rent. It will be interesting to see how this squares with his involvement with Nama.

"There are strong suggestions that he is one of the top 10 developers whose loans will be transferred into Nama this month.

"We need to see what are the implications that this has for Nama. Will he be using this money to pay off his loans which are being transferred into Nama?"

Mr Gannon paid EUR12million to buy the old Motorola site in Swords several years ago.

Deputy Burton yesterday claimed it would have been cheaper for the OPW to buy the site off him (its value would have fallen dramatically from EUR12 million), than to sign a 20-year lease which will cost taxpayers EUR20 million.

Mr Gannon is founder and owner of Gannon Homes, one of the biggest home builders in Ireland.

He is one of the biggest landowners in Dublin, owning huge tracts of land near Dublin Airport, Balbriggan, Clontarf, Swords and Malahide.

He co-owns the prestigious K Club, which hosted the Ryder Cup, with tycoon, Dr Michael Smurfit.

As a result, half of the K Club will now be taken over by Nama.

In 2008, the developer bought 90% of the Eircom League club Sporting Fingal.

Last year he was named in reports as a member of Anglo's Golden Circle - a group of 10 investors who were loaned EUR451million to buy the bank's own nowworthless shares.

The bank, now state-owned, has written off EUR300million of the debt because only 25% of the loans were secured against assets.

He has also been named as one of the top 10 developers who have loans totalling EUR16billion which will be the first to be transferred into Nama.


GERRY Gannon is founder and owner of Gannon Homes, one of the biggest house builders in Dublin.

One of the biggest landowners in the county his portfolio extends to Swords, Balbriggan and Malahide.

In 2008, he was ranked 73 in the Sunday Times Rich List who put his estimated fortune at EUR182million.

With business tycoon Michael Smurfit, Gannon co-owns the prestigious K Club, which hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006.

In 2004 he paid EUR105million for Belcamp College on the Malahide Road. Gannon invested EUR12million to secure the old Motorola factory site in Swords, Co Dublin - the museum storage site.

In 2008, he acquired a 90% stake in Sporting Fingal, the North Dublin Eircom League Club.


FINANCE Minister Brian Lenihan has said the top 10 borrowers' loans will be transferred by the end of March.

Moved in the first wave will be developers Bernard McNamara, Liam Carroll, Sean Mulryan, Paddy McKillen, Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett's Treasury Holdings, Michael O'Flynn, Joe O'Reilly, Gerry Gannon and Gerry Barrett, and Derek Quinlan.

Loans worth EUR16billion owed by these 10 developers will be the first ones transferred into Nama - the deadline for the top 10 to be moved is Friday.


DETAIL Lenihan DEAL Property developer Gannon SITE Former Motorola plant in Swords, North Co Dublin STORAGE Musuem deal is worth EUR1m a year
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 1, 2010
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