Northern Ireland

Templepatrick property developer declared bankrupt

A property developer who at one time owned a private jet and a helicopter has been declared bankrupt.

Alastair Jackson controlled the Eassda group of companies, in Templepatrick, County Antrim.

Eassda had properties across Ireland, in Scotland and in France.

At its height the business was building large housing developments on both sides of the Irish border but unravelled as a result of the property crash.

It also controlled two golf resorts in counties Kildare and Westmeath.

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A third Irish golf resort was planned and the company also bought a nine hole course in south west France with the intention of extending and upgrading it.

At one time the company owned caravan parks in Scotland and also built houses there.

The firm also had use of a Cessna 550 jet and a Eurocopter.

The group's main Northern Ireland firm, Eassda, was placed into administration in November 2009.

At the time the administrator was appointed, the company owed Ulster Bank, Northern Bank and Bank of Ireland a combined £28.6m.

Unsecured creditors were owed a further £1.35m, including £322,744 due to Double R Racing, a Surrey-based motor racing company co-owned by ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

The company had six housing sites in County Antrim, including locations at Larne and Antrim.

In July 2011 Northern Bank appointed a receiver to a further site in the Village area of south Belfast.

Most of the firm's activities in the Republic of Ireland were funded with borrowings from the now defunct Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS).

Largest

Eassda is understood to have been the largest Northern Ireland-based customer of INBS.

INBS was taken over by the Irish government and merged with the failed Anglo Irish Bank.

In July 2010 INBS called in receivers to the two golf resorts.

They are New Forest Golf Club in Tyrrellspass, County Westmeath and Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort in County Kildare. Both are continuing to trade.

Earlier this year three Eassda firms based in the Isle of Man were placed into receivership by the Irish government's National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

The companies, called Naviasky, Botha and Tarajan, were all registered at the office of a financial services firm in Douglas.

Company documents indicate that Naviasky had lands at Suncroft, the Curragh in County Kildare. There was a Bank of Ireland mortgage on that property.

Tarajan had property, including a near-derelict castle, at Gowran in County Kilkenny.

Botha had property at Walterstown, Nurney, County Kildare. Those properties were mortgaged with Irish Nationwide.

In 2011 another group company, Eassda Ireland, was named in the official list of tax defaulters in the Republic of Ireland

The firm paid £2.2m in back tax and another £900,000 in interest and penalties.

The property crash across Ireland has seen a significant number of developers declared bankrupt.