Monday, December 22, 2008

Ciaran Maguire Story Features in Sunday Tribune

The saga of the Ciarán Maguire Group (CMG) and its proposed Palm View Resort development in Cape Verde featured on page 10 in the news section of the Sunday Tribune yesterday. This in itself is nothing exceptional, the story was bound to feed into the media at some stage. What is odd is that is quoted liberally in the piece, despite the fact that the website has never been contacted by the Sunday Tribune in relation to this topic. It is also made to look like the has been threatened with legal action or had legal action taken against it by CMG, which is not the case.

It looks awfully like the journalist, Mark Hilliard, got the piece predominantly from putting together pieces from our previous blogs on the subject. There's nothing particularly wrong with this, but if we were to be quoted, it would have been nice to have a phone call or an email. CMG is quoted as well and we have no idea if they were contacted either. We didn't like to ask.

Anyhow, here's the piece for those who haven't seen it.

Property developer takes legal advice on website hosts
Mark Hilliard

AN exclusive Irish overseas developer has launched legal proceedings against a number of website hosts over highly critical remarks on a €2.2bn seven star resort planned for Cape Verde.

The Dublin based Ciaran Maguire Group has taken the action over what it deems to be "highly offensive" remarks made about its property development which is currently seeking investors.

The Palm View Resort in Cape Verde, off the western coast of North Africa, is comprised of hotels, a golf course, villas and apartments. As part of the high end scheme, the group has also announced plans to lease two Boeing 737 aircrafts for at least four years which will operate from Dublin, Manchester and London Gatwick airports.

Investors are invited to use exchange bonds as an alternative to cash deposits on the properties whose reservation fees run from €10,000 for a studio to €50,000 for a villa.

However, in recent weeks question marks began to appear around details of the development on a number of property related websites, blogs and forums.

When approached by the Irish website Overseas cafe. com to clarify many of the questions being raised, Flash Developments – an arm of the Ciaran Maguire Group – responded by confirming that legal action was now being sought.

"We have been made aware that numerous blogs and web forums that are posted in relation to Ciaran Maguire, Flash Developments and the Palm View Resort have gone past the point of asking questions and gone into the category of what we and our lawyers believe to be defamatory content," they said in a statement. 

"We have started legal proceedings against the identified hosts of these websites."

Although it is not clear which internet sites will be issued with legal proceedings, the workings of the Ciaran Maguire Group have been openly discussed on several popular forums.

The contact came in response to an earlier article on the website which alluded to the "very sudden" emergence of an Irish overseas property developer which they said was relatively unknown and seemingly prepared to operate in a very difficult economic environment.

"At a time when most newspapers couldn't sell an ad to save their lives, along comes Ciaran and his group and starts advertising liberally," claimed.

HAVE TO CUT FROM HERE (the piece below this only appears in the online version)

Contact between the site and the developers led to the tabling of over 50 questions, based on those same concerns that had fuelled recent internet debate.

Amongst the questions, the group was asked to clarify where it had suddenly come from, whether it actually owned land in Cape Verde, why the development was moved from its original location and whether or not there was even any access to the site.

Another question asked for clarification on exactly what 'star level' the development will have.

The Ciaran Maguire Group responded to a number of 'relevant' questions explaining that they had entered into an officially documented deal to purchase 98,000sq m of land from a Mr Martiano Oliveria and that they changed from the original site due to delays in processing paperwork. 

They clarified that a local company, Loids Engineers, have been engaged to begin work which should commence next year and that Flash Developments would extend a coastal road leading to the site. 

In relation to the star system, they wrote: "Different countries have different legislation in respect of this rating, Palm View is being listed as a seven star development in accordance with Cape Verdean legislation." 

"It has always been our goal to develop one of the world's most luxurious resorts and we are confident that we will achieve our goal.

"Some of the information being hosted and posted (on the sites) is deemed by Flash Developments to be highly offensive. We are outraged by allegations concerning our credibility, integrity, bona fides and business acumen skills."

December 21, 2008

You'll find the original story here.

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