Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 16:13 UK

Dublin property empire faces ruin

Liam Carroll
Liam Carroll is the owner of the Zoe Developments group

One of the Republic's biggest property developers faces the collapse of his business after a Dublin court refused to grant him bankruptcy protection.

Liam Carroll was seeking to prevent the winding-up of his Zoe Developments group of companies in the High Court.

The group owes its banks more than 1bn euro.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke said he would give his reasons for his decision on Friday.

He severely criticised the way in which certain figures had been presented to the court by the companies.

A business plan submitted by Zoe set out a scheme to meet its debts over a three to five-year period.

Part of the plan included the non-payment of interest for two years on its debts owed to eight banks.

Zoe's original application was turned down by the Commercial Court and an appeal to the Supreme Court was also rejected.

The unprecedented second application was permitted on the basis of new information presented to the High Court.

Mr Carroll is reputed to have built more apartments in Dublin than any other developer and is also a major investor on the Irish stockmarket.

If his business goes under it would be one of the biggest corporate failures in Irish history.

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