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“I don't need money, I have plenty of it” 19.10.11

Wealthy farmer denies borrowing from friend

A WEALTHY Inishowen farmer who sold eight sites during the boom denied receiving loans from his friend saying he has "plenty of money".
Robert John McKinley was defending a civil action taken against him by 78-year old cattle dealer, George Doherty of Churchtown, Carndonagh, Co Donegal.
Mr Doherty said he gave five loans to the defendant ranging from €200 to €3,000 between January and May 2008. They had been dealing cattle successfully between each other for more than 15 years and were “good friends”.
Mr McKinley, of 7 Manor Court, Moville, had told the plaintiff he was in the process of selling a site for €300,000 in Greencastle and when the money came through he would settle his debt, the court heard. Mr Doherty, represented by solicitor, Ray Lannon, said he and Mr McKinley shook hands in the traditional way by spitting on their hands. "When you shake a man's hand like that, it is as good as money in the bank, as far as I’m concerned," said Mr Doherty.
Buncrana District Court heard that Mr McKinley told the plaintiff he needed the larger sums because he was buying a house. He needed the smaller loans for diesel, gas for his house and because the ESB were "coming to cut off his electric". Mr Doherty also paid a vet's bill of €70 on Mr McKinley's behalf in August 2008. The court heard that Mr Doherty had to take back five cows from the defendant later that year when he realised he was not going to be paid for them. He was left without working cash and had to get a €5,000 overdraft from his bank.
Defence solicitor, Paudge Dorrian, described Mr Doherty's version of events as "a concoction". He said Mr Doherty's diary notes of the loan transactions were not contemporaneous and were "carefully prepared” for court. Mr McKinley, who has since quit cattle dealing, told Judge Paul Kelly he sold eight sites between 2006 and the end of 2008 and "got a lot (of money)" for them. He owed no money to the bank and had no reason to borrow from Mr Doherty. "I've no call for that little amount of money. I don't need money, I have plenty of it," he said. Judge Kelly also heard evidence from the men's sons, Jonathan McKinley and Michael Doherty, and senior Department of Agriculture official, Camillus Mulcahy. The judge said there was a "complete and utter conflict of evidence" but that he "preferred the evidence of Mr Doherty". He referred to a bank statement showing Mr Doherty’s withdrawals as well as a vet's receipt. The judge said there was a Department of Agriculture record showing cattle had been transferred back to the plaintiff.
"The only objective evidence appears to coincide with Mr Doherty's evidence," said Judge Kelly. He found in favour of the plaintiff and granted a decree in the sum of €5,680 plus defended costs. Mr Dorrian indicated that his client might appeal the ruling.
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