Donohoe donor Michael Stone pursued by vulture fund over mortgage default on vacant investment property

The businessman at the centre of the Paschal Donohoe donation controversy was pursued in the High Court by a vulture fund over a mortgage default on a now-vacant investment property.

Designer Group CEO Michael Stone, has retained co-ownership of the vacant five-bedroom home despite its mortgage being transferred to the vulture fund more than seven years ago.

Last month The Ditch reported that Stone had hoarded Dublin city centre sites for more than a decade – during which time a Fine Gael government appointed him to a state body tasked with inner city regeneration.

A boarded-up property

In 2006 Michael Stone and four co-investors bought Valhalla, Moyne Road in the north Dublin suburb Baldoyle after securing a joint mortgage from Permanent TSB.

The mortgage went into arrears and was transferred to vulture fund Havbell DAC in 2015, according to Land Registry records.

In April 2018 Havbell DAC took High Court proceedings against Stone and his co-owners.

The action came less than a year after Stone was appointed chair of the North East Inner City programme implementation board, a state body that aimed to work on the “economic regeneration” of the inner city.

Just months earlier the property, which sits on an acre of land, was advertised for sale in January 2018 with a €575,000 price tag. At one point its sale was agreed, but the deal was never completed.

The outcome of the High Court proceedings is unclear but Havbell DAC still owns the mortgage registered against the property, while Stone and his co-investors remain its registered owners.

The 2,900 square foot home, located in housing minister Darragh O’Brien’s Fingal constituency, has been left vacant since 2018 and was boarded up in 2021.

Stone doesn’t have to worry about mortgage repayments on his own home. Last year he paid €4.6 million cash for a mansion in Killiney, county Dublin.

Stone is the businessman from whose company public expenditure minister Paschal Donohoe in 2016 received an undeclared donation. Donohoe was twice forced to address the Dáil over the issue.

Stone declined to comment.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors