Judge adjourns bid to extend bankruptcy of Alan Hynes over alleged non co-operation

Hynes seeking legal aid for separate application to ‘annul’ his bankruptcy

An application to extend the bankruptcy of Wexford businessman Alan Hynes over his alleged non-co-operation with the official administering of his bankruptcy has been adjourned to next month.

Mr Hynes has brought a separate application to “annul” his bankruptcy and is seeking legal aid to pursue that, Mr Justice Liam Kennedy heard on Monday.

Michael Connolly BL, for the official assignee (OA), the trustee administering Mr Hynes’ bankruptcy, said Mr Hynes had not attended the Court of Appeal for the hearing of his appeal last year aimed at having the High Court’s adjudication of bankruptcy paused or quashed.

That appeal proceeded in his absence and was dismissed last June, counsel said.


The High Court in October 2022 adjudicated Mr Hynes and his estranged wife, Noreen Dunphy, as bankrupts on foot of petitions from John and Bridget Atkinson, of Glenbrien, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, who obtained judgment against them in 2009 for more than €200,000.

The High Court also refused a stay on its orders.

Ms Dunphy, who had also failed in her bid to have the adjudication against her paused or quashed, has since exited bankruptcy.

A tribunal of the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board had in 2015 excluded Mr Hynes from the Institute of Chartered Accountants following a hearing sparked by complaints from investors who lost more than €18 million on his failed property development ventures.

On Monday, Mr Connolly told the court the OA’s application was for final orders for the extension of Mr Hynes’ bankruptcy, an interim extension having been previously granted pending a full hearing.

Counsel said it seemed Mr Hynes wanted an adjournment while he sought legal aid for an application to “annul” his bankruptcy.

Mr Connolly said he was “at a loss to understand” what the annulment application was but it seemed to relate to separate judicial review proceedings by Mr Hynes.

Mr Hynes has engaged in “a large volume of correspondence” with the OA’s instructing solicitors but has failed to serve any application in terms of what was described as the annulment application, he said.

While he was instructed to proceed on Monday with the application for final orders, Mr Connolly said he could not say he would be prejudiced by a two-week adjournment.

His side is keen to progress matters as it had been delayed some time, he said.

Mr Hynes said he could not deal with the matter without legal aid and wanted an adjournment to progress his legal aid application. He could serve his papers on the other side later on Monday, he added.

The judge adjourned both sides’ applications for two weeks when he will assess the position and make directions.

If Mr Hynes does obtain legal representation, his lawyers would have to take up the matter quickly but, if he does not get legal aid, the OA could not be expected to delay his application, he said.

The judge also directed Mr Hynes to serve his papers by close of business on Tuesday.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times