RTE tonight reported on a developer pulling the plug on the unfinished town centre in Balgriffin.
A town centre that was specifically used by LM Developments to help lure people to buy their apartments in Balgriffin.
Nobody tonight seems to know where the developer or LM Developments is but residents are furious at the abandoned building site.
Incredible that such an extrovert should shun the limelight????
The following is an extract from "The Builders" where LM's head honcho Donal Caulfield "modestly" outlines his lifestyle!!!
"So a million quid was all I needed to start. Once I had the contracts signed, and with my Cotter background, the banks gave us the go-ahead for finance. We were very lucky. We all made a good return on our money, up to 50 per cent cash return."
Four years after leaving Park, he was able to buy a jet for the business.
"It's not so much about owning the jet. It's about having the money to give you the freedom to do what you want, to say what you want. The more money people have, the more free they are, if they have the right psyche. Having a jet means you're not queuing up for an hour in Dublin or London airports. Money is pure and utter freedom. If you want to wear shades inside, which I often do, I don't care what people say about me. My Da, Joseph, used to say that money was freedom. But he had five kids, he was a great goer, a great small builder, but he couldn't risk it because he had five kids."
In those hedonistic early days, Caulfield's taste for luxury was impressive.
"I'm happy to admit that when I first started seeing returns, I might have got carried away. I was into clothes, holidays, cars. I was a Versace fan, a shopaholic," he said wryly. "Every second weekend, I was in Marbella, Paris, Rome. I lived in the penthouse of the Conrad Hotel for eight months when I was refurbishing my home. I loved it."
Even with a parking place for his Aston Martin thrown in at the Conrad, accommodation alone must have run to a high five-figure bill every month.
"I've always been a car fanatic. I used to have seven or eight cars - Ferrais, Porsches, Lamborghinis. I still have the Ferrari, two Porsches, a Lamborghini and a Range Rover jeep. One of the biggest kicks I got was taking my sisters and girlfriend shopping. You'd get a buzz off that. When Louise and I were going out, we would have been away five weekends out of six. Now I've happily swapped the weekends away for walking the Weimaraner dogs in the park with Louise. I'm saturated with the travel and shopping, although I can say that I never went into the drink or drugs. I was too into health and fitness.
"I'm a country guy and I've managed to keep my friends from 15 to 20 years ago. I don't talk about money and that's why I don't spend a huge amount of time with other developers. I don't go to race meetings or balls - I think that whole scene is not real. What's real to me are my friends and family."
But surely all that spending and extravagance simply confirms suspicions that developers were making obscene profits on the backs of struggling homebuyers?
"They deserve every single euro they make - though the exception I'd make are the ones who were doing poor design, defacing the public landscape. That particular type of 10-year boom will never happen again because, for most of it, the rewards were in no way proportionate to the efforts or brilliance of many developers. You could be the worst builder/developer with no sense of design or landscaping yet everything they built, they sold. So many poor builders made so much money that they didn't deserve.
"But most of them are honourable, good, solid people. And the point is that if you put your balls on the table, you get the reward or you get the kick. It can go one way or the other. Guys are now feeling the squeeze and if it goes on, a lot of them are in trouble. I was lucky. If you'd asked me a year-and-a-half ago, I'd have said the market would still be flying now."