Westlife singer Shane Filan declared bankrupt

Pop star Shane Filan has filed for bankruptcy in the UK after sustaining heavy losses in the Irish property crash.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Filan’s property development firm, Shafin Developments, was placed in receivership last month. The business, founded with brother Finbarr in 2004, had built up a debt mountain worth £18m in bank loans. Shafin is the latest in a long line of Irish developers to go to the wall, after Ireland's speculative property bubble burst in 2008.
‘Following increasing financial difficulties and having exhausted all other options, earlier this week I was declared bankrupt in Kingston County Court,’ reads a statement from the Westlife star. ‘I have worked long and hard to try to reduce my debts and I am devastated that it came to this conclusion.’
Filan chose to file for bankruptcy in the UK rather than his native Ireland, as in UK law the bankruptcy period lasts just one year, compared to three years – or even 12 - on the Emerald Isle. But this could all be about to change; Ireland has agreed to relax its bankruptcy rules as one of the conditions of its EU/ IMF bailout.
With Westlife currently playing sell-out gigs across Britain with its farewell tour, however, Filan’s should be reunited with his pot of gold pretty soon. The Irish crooner is expecting a £4m windfall just next week. And, with several record companies jostling over signing a solo deal with the star, there could be a juicy advance in the pipeline too. Still, given that Westlife was one of the most successful boy bands of the last decade, selling more than 44 million records, it’s quite the fall from grace.
But this hasn’t stopped leading financial pundit… er, we mean pop mogul Louis Walsh making light of Filan’s plight earlier this morning. ‘Those money issues are fine,’ he said. ‘He’ll start all over again and remake the riches in absolutely no time at all. He’ll never have to worry about money into the future. I’m not worried and he shouldn’t be worried either.’
Maybe you should just stick to the X Factor, Louis…

Image: Khánh Hmoong via Wikimedia Commons

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