Fine Gael candidate James Geoghegan's trust fund sold property to Ansbacher-linked firm

Fine Gael’s Dublin Bay South byelection candidate James Geoghegan’s trust fund in 2018 sold a Dublin 4 property to an Ansbacher-linked property development firm for €1.6 million.

The property came into the trust fund’s possession in 2017 and was sold the year Geoghegan and his wife purchased their €730,000 home in Clonskeagh, Dublin 14.

Geoghegan, who has promised to be a “voice for the generation locked out of the housing market” if elected, has to date refused to comment on the terms of his mortgage or how he and his partner put their deposit together. Geoghegan has further claimed he is “not a posh barrister”.

Geoghegan’s late grandfather Supreme Court judge Thomas Finlay provided for the trust fund in his 2014 will. Geoghegan’s mother, Mary Finlay Geoghegan, herself a retired Supreme Court judge, is a trustee of the fund, which counts other members of the extended Geoghegan family as its beneficiaries.

A grant of probate, which allows executors to proceed with the disposal of a deceased’s assets, for Finlay's will was issued by the Dublin Probate Office in March 2018.

Four months later, the late judge’s Donnybrook home was sold to Carlisle Trust for just over €1.6 million, with the net proceeds deposited to Geoghegan’s trust fund. The Dublin 4 property, a three-bed semi detached house on Ailesbury Drive, was judge Finlay’s primary residence until his death in 2017.

Carlisle Trust, which typically specialises in commercial property, along with its parent company and subsidiaries owns property valued at over €280 million and is in receipt of substantial commercial rental income from the state.

The Moriarty Tribunal in 1999 heard the firm in 1992 facilitated payments of £180,000 from Ben Dunne to Charles Haughey.

The late owner of Carlisle Trust John Byrne Sr was named in the Ansbacher report as a potential beneficiary of trusts established in the Cayman Islands, though some of the adverse findings against him were overturned by the Supreme Court in 2011.

James Geoghegan declined to comment.

D. Goodman

D. Goodman