£118,000 found in bankrupt developer's bath

50 euro notes

Tom McFeely's financial troubles are well-known. He was a former IRA hunger striker, who in the Celtic Tiger boom became a multi-millionaire property tycoon. However, the bursting of the Irish property bubble pushed him into bankruptcy

So it seems a bit odd that a plumber has found a stack of cash hidden inside the bath at his former home.

The discovery

The Guardian reported that a plumber was renovating McFeely's old house in Dublin, when he found the cash hidden inside the bath on Friday.

This is an unusual sum of cash to have lying around when you have the kind of debts that McFeely ran up. He was declared bankrupt last July, and according to the Irish Independent, he says he has more than €200m in bank debts. He was evicted from the property in August for not paying the mortgage - a month after the bankruptcy.

The Irish Criminal Assets Bureau is now investigating who the cash belongs to - and where it came from. The Sunday Times said that the money is being held under the Proceeds of Crime Act - which allows the bureau to hold the money while it assesses the origins. If it is found to belong to McFeely, it will be handed to the official assignee to dispose of.


McFeely is no stranger to the headlines. He took part in the first IRA hunger strike in the Maze prison in 1980 - where he was incarcerated for a number of things including shooting a police officer.

After leaving prison in 1989 he left the IRA and moved to Dublin. He went into property - making millions in the property boom. He subsequently made the headlines again over the Priory Hall apartment block built by his company in Donaghmede, north Dublin.

The BBC reported that his firm faced court action over fire safety concerns at the block, and in October 2011, more than 240 residents were moved by order of the court into temporary accommodation for their own safety. They are still there.

He was ordered to carry out remedial works, but this has not been done. His lawyers say this is because he has been evicted from the site, and a contempt of court ruling was overturned. The dispute has still not been settled, while the residents are forced to continue paying their mortgages and living in temporary accommodation.

He is due to appear in court in October regarding a separate debt, where he is likely to be asked questions about his finances.
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