Derry property developer declared bankrupt

Anglo Irish Bank

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A County Londonderry property developer whose company was placed into receivership by Anglo Irish Bank has been declared bankrupt.

Sean McWilliams' firm, McWilliams Homes, owed the bank almost £25m.

The business, which was based in Swatragh, had its biggest projects in County Donegal.

The failed Anglo Irish Bank lent hundreds of millions of pounds to NI developers. Many of them are now unable to repay their loans.

In many cases Anglo borrowers signed guarantees which made them personally liable for their firm's borrowings.

McWilliams Homes' last set of accounts were for 2008 when the company reported a pre-tax loss of over £6m.

The value of its land bank had collapsed by £10m in the same year.

In 2005, McWilliams Homes secured approval for a £90m residential development of over 550 houses close to the centre of Letterkenny in Ballymacool.

Plans for the development included commercial units, a creche, health centre and upgrading of the Glenties to Letterkenny road.

A significant number of builders and developers from County Derry paid huge sums for sites in Donegal during the Irish property bubble.

The value of those sites has typically fallen by 80%.

Last year it emerged that the collapse of Londonderry-based firm McDaid Developments (Ireland) will cost Bank of Ireland almost £36m.

McDaid Developments (Ireland) did much of its business in County Donegal .

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