Westlife star devastated after being declared bankrupt with debts of £18million
Posted at 14:42 by Mirror.co.uk
The boyband star’s property empire in Ireland had collapsed, leaving the 32-year-old with debts of £18million
Westlife singer Shane Filan yesterday spoke of his devastation after being declared bankrupt.
The boyband star’s property empire in Ireland had collapsed, leaving the 32-year-old with debts of £18million.
Despite employing an army of financial experts, a court ruled this week that the dad-of-three was bust.
Shane, set to play in Liverpool last night on Westlife’s final tour, said yesterday: “Together with a team of financial and legal experts I have spent months exploring all possible alternatives to bankruptcy but to no avail.
“I have worked long and hard to try to reduce my debts, and I am devastated that it came to this conclusion.
“I now intend to focus on the remaining dates of the Westlife tour and my commitments to the band before looking to rebuild a future for my wife, my three children and myself.”
During the economic boom, Shafin Developments, which Shane set up with his brother Finbarr, borrowed millions from Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.
The firm took out a series of loans to construct a 90-home estate in Dromahair, Co Leitrim. However, when the site was recently inspected, just 50 homes had been built and many sold for less than the cost of completion.
A series of other projects, including a supermarket in Leitrim and a nursing home in Sligo, have also come to a halt.
The star’s financial fall from grace is being dealt with in the UK after he relocated to Surrey with wife Gillian and their kids before Christmas.
His bankruptcy, announced at Kingston County Court, will last for a year, provided he complies fully with the courts, compared to 12 years in Ireland.
But Shane is expected to boost his bank balance by £4million at the end of Westlife’s farewell tour next week.
After their launch in 1998, the Irish boyband sold more than 45 million records worldwide and had 14 No1 singles in Britain alone.
Shane, who releases a solo album next year, currently has four major record labels fighting over him.
Pop mogul Louis Walsh, who will be managing the singer this summer, previously said he “doesn’t need to worry”.
He added: “Shane is going to have a massive career after Westlife. He’s going to have a great solo career and make millions. He’ll start all over again and remake the riches in no time at all.
“He had no money when he started off before Westlife, and now he’ll make it all back when he becomes a massive star.”