Monday 31 May 2010

New Subscribe Link

We've been asked by a lot of people to put a 'Subscribe' link on the blog so they can keep up to date with what's going on with the blog without having to check back regularly.

It's taken us some time to get around to it, but we've finally managed to facilitate those who would like to be updated when the blog has new posts or anyone who would like to receive informative mailings about the overseas property industry from time to time.

You'll see the Subscribe button on the top right hand corner of the page, simply enter your email address in the box provided, click on 'Subscribe', fill in the resultant word given to prove you're not a spam robot and you'll get an email asking you to confirm that you wish to subscribe to the service.

If you have a spam filter of any description tell it to allow the following address through - - so that you can receive the confirmation email and the resulting updates from the site.

That's it, you're done, and you need never worry about missing posts on the blog again.

Flash Developments in Liquidation

The following story appears in the Sunday Business Post of May 30th:

"The developer behind a proposed €100 million resort in Cape Verde has said that the project will not be affected by the liquidation of one of his main firms.

The High Court last week appointed a liquidator to Flash Developments, which is headed by businessman Ciaran Maguire. It has received deposits from 200 Irish and British investors for apartments and villas in the planned Palm View resort on the west African island.

Maguire told The Sunday Business Post that all of the deposits were safe, despite the winding-up of Flash Developments.

He said that all the ‘‘contracts, development lands and credit lines’’ had been transferred to another company called the Ciaran Maguire Group.

Maguire said that Flash Developments was ‘‘simply a sales and marketing company’’ and that its liquidation would not have any effect on the development.

He said that 63 per cent of the initial 400 apartments had been sold, and the scheme would be completed next year.

A number of people who paid deposits to Flash Developments for properties have already sought the return of their money, while others are putting together an action group to try to recover their money, following a 16-month delay in starting the project.

Flash Developments went into liquidation last week following a court petition by Hays, an international recruitment firm which was owed money by the firm. The liquidator, KPMG accountant Kieran Wallace, is examining the company and its links with the Ciaran Maguire Group.

He is seeking all details relating to the Cape Verde project. Maguire said that Flash Developments had lost a significant sum of money due to a bond deal with a now defunct British company called Exchange Insurance.

While this prompted the liquidation of Flash Developments, he insisted that the project was going ahead.

He said that the first phase of the development was valued at €100million and would include apartments and a five-star hotel. Maguire said Flash had a 15-year licence with the Cape Verde government to build on the island, and would ultimately build developments valued at €1.8 billion over that time."

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Answers to Queries put to Ciaran Maguire

Queries for Ciaran Maguire sent last week and replies (printed as received):

Query: Having posted your press release on our blog a number of inconsistencies have been pointed out to us. Firstly, the pictures provided with the press release were not even taken in Cape Verde, they were in fact taken in Brazil in 2008 and, most likely, lifted from the following website -

Answer: Firstly I am glad we are able to communicate about these issues. To answer your questions, in relation to the pictures of the machines you mentioned I requested pictures from the contractors of the machines that had arrived to Boa Vista from Santiago and they send me the pictures I forwarded to you and said these were the machines being used, however I am attaching pictures of works commencing when I was on site last week (one is attached to the blog post) which should clear up any miss understanding.

Query: It has also been pointed out that the new bonding company is the subject of some legal queries in the US, a Dunn and Bradstreet report apparently costs no more than £250 so you've been advised to look for a refund, particularly seeing as they appear to have missed the above.

Answer: In relation to the Dun and Bradstreet report costing £250, is that a joke, you come across as very smart so surely you can see that some one out there is on a sabotage mission. The report is a 50 page dossier on the company incorporating all the companies previous audits and existing assets which equate to 250,000,000 USD, can you honestly tell me that a company who needs to clarify every asset and put their name to a certified rating does this for £250, I am actually embarrassed for the uneducated person who suggested that.

Query: We've had a number of emails stating that there has been absolutely no work of any description carried out on the site on which you purport to be building the development - which is very disconcerting considering all that has gone before.

Answer: In relation to the works that are claimed have not been carried out, firstly you can see the pictures for yourself secondly the plot goes back 1 kilometer from the beach and obviously provisional works will always start from the site access road so if some one is walking past the from the beach it is possible the person will not see anything but he only has to walk up to the site and its there for all to see.

I hope you can understand my frustrations with a hand full of people who no matter what happens they will always have a negative opinion on Palm View, First they said we would never get the land which we have now done then they said we would never get the planning which we have now done and now they are saying that we will never start the project which we have now done. The latest thing they are saying is something about the credibility of our underwriters PCI in which they were given a credit rating of A which is currently a better credit rating than Ireland.

Query: We've also had a lot of queries about the Jacuma Beach Resort and the fact that the company from which you were to buy it, Paraisos do Brazil, claims you never came up with any money to pay for it and is now taking legal action against you.

Answer: In relation to Jacuma, we had signed a protocol of intentions to acquire Paraisos do Brasil and had the bond and credit ready to be get everything rolled out and get things started however it came up in our due diligence that condominiums 4 and 5 did NOT have full planning and having suffered the delays on Palm View I was not willing to go through that entire process again. You can verify this with IDEMA the planning authorities in Brazil and there is NO legal action taken against me as there are NO legal grounds.

I understand that there is a lot of frustrations in the current market place and a lot of investors have lost money in investing in the over seas property but I have done everything to protect my clients and investors and will continue to do so, if them hand full of un educated people who continue to try tarnish my name and Palm View actually done some proper due diligence and spoke to Cape Verde government officials, respected lawyers, UK brokers and finance houses and underwriters they will actually find that Palm View is one of the safest investments around at present.

Again I appreciate you coming directly to me with these questions.

CiarĂ¡n Maguire

Chairman & President

CastleBaggot House,
Dublin 22.

Ph: +353 1 6251542

Ph: +353 1 6251544


Thursday 13 May 2010

Seminar on Investing in the US - May 19th

A seminar on US Property opportunities for investors and their financial advisors is to be held in Dublin.

The seminar, which will outline the current investment climate in the US among other topics, is to be held in the Herbert Park Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin on Wednesday, 19th May 2010 between 5.30 and 7pm.

The seminar will explore why there are those who consider the US to currently be an excellent opportunity for both personal and pension fund investments. It is being hosted by ClearSky Capital whose directors promise to share their own experience as well as bringing independent experts to highlight the benefits of investing in, and opportunities currently available in, the US market.

ClearSky Capital claims to be the first property investment company of its kind in Ireland offering the opportunity to invest privately in the US property market. It is an Irish/American company that partners with clients from purchase right through to sale and also offers a full property management service.

Advance registration for the seminars is necessary in order to attend. You can register online at or telephone Orlagh at 01 514 3780.

Topics and speakers:

“Global Market Fundamentals” – what you haven’t been told!
Brendan Slein, Global Reach Securities Ltd

“A Unique Window of Opportunity” – an experienced investors view.
Tom Ryan, Chairman & CEO Ryan International Corporation and Vice President – The Ireland United States Council for Commerce and Industry

“How you can use your Pension fund to invest in US property”
Richard O’Farrell, SSAS Pension Advisor, IFG Group plc

“Personal and Pension Investment – the opportunities”
Ciaran Hynes, Managing Director, ClearSky Capital Ltd.

The seminar will be followed by an informal panel discussion/Q&A.

For further information please contact ClearSky Capital on 01 514 3780.

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Seminar on Property Investment in Brazil - June 24th

Just received the following message from the Brazilian Embassy:

"The Embassy of Brazil in Ireland will hold a whole day seminar on Commercial Properties and Investment Opportunities in Brazil, on 24th June, at the Royal College of Physicians, 6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Several experts will address attractive real estate and investment opportunities for a target audience composed of developers, investors, financiers from investment banks, private banks, private equity firms, infrastructure funds and construction companies.

Political and economic stability, competent and transparent legal and regulatory framework, strong banking system, dynamic trade sector and a domestic-driven economic growth made Brazil resilient to world recession and rich in attractive business opportunities. With a forecasted economic growth rate of 5-6% for 2010, the discovery of the Pre-Salt Oil Layer, the upcoming major sports events taking place in Brazil, such as 2016 Olympic Games, have created additional demands that need to be satisfied in the near future.

Brazil's $1.3 trillion GDP is bigger than those of India and Russia, and its per-capita income is nearly twice that of China. Recent discoveries by Brazil's state oil company made the country one of the world's largest energy-producing country which will fuel growth for many years to come. In 2009, despite the sharp contraction of capital flows, Brazil attracted $25.9bn of foreign domestic investment, and should reach more than $35bn this year.

Topics to include:

Sites for development of low and middle income housing, construction of shopping centers and resorts, profitable bio-fuel investments and attractive infrastructure projects.

For further information, contact: The Embassy of Brazil in Dublin, or ring +353 1 416-1216."

Monday 10 May 2010

Erroneous Ryanair Cancellation Announcement

The ash cloud, oh my God, the ash cloud - would it ever simply move off and leave us alone?

I had an interesting encounter with the big baddie at the weekend.

We were to travel from Gothenburg in Sweden back to Ireland via Stansted. Having nothing better to do we decided to make our way to Gothenburg City Airport early to return our car and have a bite to eat at the airport before takeoff. There had been no indications of any delays or cancellations so we were pretty comfortable in the knowledge that we were to leave as scheduled. Travelling back to Ireland was, literally, a problem for another day.

Having checked in my bag and had something to eat we still had some time still to spare so I decided to check my email. Imagine my surprise to receive the following:

Important Information Regarding your Flight
Dear Customer   We sincerely apologise for the cancellation of your flight departing the 08 May 2010 The flight has been cancelled because of the closure of Spanish/French airspace due to the ash cloud caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland   TO REBOOK FREE ONLINE:  Click on the link below to rebook to the same destination airport on an alternative flight free of charge, subject to availability. Customers can access this link up to the 11/05/2010 for travel on flights up to the 20/05/2010.  PLEASE NOTE: If your booking has a return flight included and you have already checked in for this flight you will NOT be able to transfer your flight to a different departure airport online.  If you wish to do this you will need to call our reservation centre on the following number. Alternatively, go to the airport ticket desk and they will transfer you onto an alternative flight.  We have instructed airports that passengers affected by these flight cancellations may not be able to check-in online and therefore airport staff will reissue boarding passes at the airport free of charge.  TO APPLY FOR A REFUND ONLINE:  Customers who are booked on any of the below flights, who wish to cancel and claim a full refund on the unused flight(s) can do so directly by clicking on the link below and entering the required details. Refunds will be processed in 30 working days back to the form of payment used to pay for the booking. 
Slightly bemused, I had my partner go around the corner to check (Gothenburg City airport isn't exactly Heathrow) where the lady on information said that it was "an IT mistake" on the part of Ryanair. The flight, she said, was definitely running - and on time at that.  
A pretty serious "IT mistake" it has to be said. If we had got the email before we left the hotel we would still be busily running around Gothenburg looking for accommodation and re-booking flights to Ireland.
Is the dreaded ash cloud not enough of a distraction for air travellers without Ryanair's IT system firing out cancellation notices willy-nilly?
I sent full details of my problems with the notification by email - but I wouldn't be holding my breath for a reply from Mick and Co.