Northern Ireland

Irish asset agency Nama repossesses County Down castle

The Irish government's National Asset Management Agency (Nama) has repossessed a castle in County Down.

Nama has taken control of virtually all land and development loans which were advanced by the Dublin-based banks.

In some cases it has taken 'enforcement action' on these loans by placing the related properties into receivership.

Quintin castle in Portaferry has appeared on the newly updated enforcement list.

The Anglo-Norman castle was originally built in the 12th century by John De Courcy.

At one stage it was virtually a ruin but was restored in the 19th century.

It underwent a further restoration around 2006 when it was bought by the property developer Paul Neill.

Mr Neill had a portfolio of properties in Belfast and County Down. He was also an aviation enthusiast owning a private jet and a helicopter.

In 2011, the former Anglo Irish Bank moved against him taking control of two of his retail parks in Bangor over a £37m debt.

He was declared bankrupt earlier this year.

Meanwhile another Nama-linked developer has been declared bankrupt.

Peter McDaid ran Derry-based McDaid Developments (Ireland).

It was placed into administration in June 2010 owing Bank of Ireland £42m. Those debts later became the responsibility of Nama.

The administrator of the firm estimated that the sale of the firm's assets will only raise about £8m.