The end appears to have been reached in a long running and bitter dispute between Munster businessmen on the island of Sal in Cape Verde, off the coast of Senegal in Africa. Cork based Developer brothers John and Ned Cotter, owners of Paradise Beach Aldemento Turistico Algodoeiro SA had been defending an action by Go2CapeVerde Ltd. owner Tom Sheehy (pictured with wife Rita and business partner, Niall Fleming), formerly of Clonakilty and Lisbon but now believed to be resident on the Cape Verde islands. Go2CapeVerde Ltd. (which has now been struck off the Irish companies register for not providing accounts) is better known by its trading name, Cape Verde Development. Mr. Sheehy has also recently launched a very strange website called Tom Sheehy’s Cape Verde in an apparent attempt to mitigate the flood of bad press floating around the internet in his name.
Sheehy’s Go2CapeVerde in which he is partnered by his wife Rita, claimed it was owed €1.8m by Paradise Beach for ‘breach of contract and negligent mis-statement’. Another Sheehy company, Malta based Balwerk IX LDA in which he is partnered by Kerry native Niall Fleming, claimed that Paradise Beach owed it €6.8m. for ‘outstanding sales commissions and damages’. Paradise Beach launched a counter-claim against both entities alleging understatement of income from sales of almost €30m.
The conclusion of the case revolved around discovery documents not presented to the Paradise Beach legal team by a number of legal representatives of Mssrs. Sheehy and Fleming. By the conclusion of proceedings the pair had exhausted the services of a number of legal firms, which had very obviously irritated the judge in the case, Ms. Justice Marie Baker.
Justice Baker said the conclusion she drew was that Mr. Sheehy and his companies failed to make discovery in a ‘deliberate and malicious’ way. Pertinent documents uncovered by legal representatives for Paradise Beach well into the case were never presented by Sheehy’s legal team in discovery.
Justice Baker described Mr. Sheehy’s answers to questions under oath as ‘contradictory, self serving, and not given, in many cases, with any degree of conviction.’ She said Niall Fleming was ‘equally elusive’ about the distinction between the sale of Paradise Beach units and the resales.
She went on to ascertain that ‘some of the documents which came to light could not have been omitted other than by a deliberate intervention or intention to conceal’. ‘The failure was on the extreme end of the spectrum of culpability’, she continued. Other pre-trial and cost issues are due before the judge next week.
Mssrs. Sheehy and Fleming have fallen out with most of their former business partners in Cape Verde and some time ago Sheehy also lost a significant case for €8.5m. against Brian Murphy-O’Connor and Ted Whittaker – see here.
This case has been widely covered in the mainstream Irish media:
The judgement in full can be found below this post: