Court upholds bankruptcy extension for Monaghan farmer

May 27, 2021 16:32 By News Northern Sound
Court upholds bankruptcy extension for Monaghan farmer
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The case was heard yesterday.

The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision to extend the bankruptcy of Co Monaghan farmer John Hoey whose cattle were shot by members of the defence Forces in 2016.

Last year Ms Justice Teresa Pilkington extended the bankruptcy of Mr Hoey for a period of eight years from the time he was declared a bankrupt in 2016, due to his lack of co-operation with the official in charge of his bankruptcy, the Official Assignee.

The High Court's decision means that Mr Hoey will not emerge from bankruptcy until the end of February 2024.


Mr Hoey, from Carrickmacross, appealed that decision to the Court of Appeal.

In its judgement published on Wednesday the three-judge comprised of the President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham, Mr Justice John Edwards and Ms Justice Elizabeth Kennedy dismissed the appeal.

Giving the court's unanimous decision Mr Justice Birmingham said the court accepted that a "significant" period of extension and "a severe sanction" were imposed by the High Court on Mr Hoey.


"However, in my view a significant extension was called for in the circumstances of this case." the judge said.

The judge added that "the order made by the High Court judge was an appropriate one" and the period of extension "certainly could not be said to fall outside the available range."

The OA had sought an order under Section 85 of the 2015 Bankruptcy (Amendment) Act that Mr Hoey's bankruptcy be extended by 7 to 10 years over his failure to co-operate with the OA in relation to the bankrupt's assets.


Mr Hoey opposed the application to postpone his exit from bankruptcy and denied claims he had not cooperated with the OA.

Mr Justice Birmingham remarked in his judgment that the appeal had been adjourned to allow Mr Hoey provide a complete an accurate and complete statement of affairs to the OA.

The Judge said that while it could not wipe Mr Hoey's slate clean, it would take any co-operation by him at this late stage into account when deciding on his appeal.


Some additional documentation was provided by Mr Hoey, but the court noted that the OA's lawyers said that material contained several deficiencies.

The Judge said that the Court of Appeal's decision to afford Mr Hoey a further opportunity to co-operate and improve his position, did not move matters on since the High Court's decision to extend his bankruptcy.

After dismissing the appeal, the judge said he was of the view Mr Hoey should pay the costs of the appeal,  but said the court would hear submissions on that issue at a later date.


Mr Hoey was declared bankrupt on foot of a petition brought by John Kelly Fuels Ltd for €262,000 in February of 2016.

He was due to exit the process 12 months later. His discharge from bankruptcy was stayed pending the outcome of the OA's extension application.

The OA claimed that Mr Hoey had failed to co-operate by failing to provide a Statement of Affairs detailing all of his assets, and had moved a substantial amount of farm machinery from his farm and hid them on the grounds of a local hotel.

It was also alleged that Mr Hoey attempted to hide payments he received from a meat factory, and had hid cash on his property, which was recovered following a search of the premises.

The court also heard that In the interests of public health and safety, and to prevent the spread of TB, the OA had reluctantly used defence force marksmen to humanely destroy five of Mr Hoey's cows.

The animals had gone wild, dangerous and could not be captured. Mr Hoey strongly denied not co-operating with the OA, and argued he had furnished the OA with a statement of affairs.

Mr Hoey also rejected OA's claims in relation to the culled cattle and claimed that he remains "haunted " after witnessing his cattle being shot in July 2016.

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