Westlife singer Shane Filan has been hit by the property crisis in Ireland after his company is declared officially bankrupt following debts of up to 18 million pounds.
Filan's set up the property company, Shafin Developments Limited, with his brother Finbarr in 2004 and borrowed millions from various banks around the Republic of Ireland in order to develop 90 homes in Dromahair, Leitrim. However, only half of them were actually built and many sold for less than the cost of building them. Despite being a member of one of the most successful boy bands of the last decade with an estimated collective fortune of around 31 million and selling over 44 million records worldwide, the 32-year-old filed for bankruptcy at Kingston-upon-Thames County Court. He chose to file for insolvency in the UK because the period of bankruptcy usually only lasts a year compared to up to 12 years in his home country of Ireland.
In a statement, Filan expressed his upset for the situation, "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". He added that he intended to focus on the last few shows that Westlife will be doing together since announcing their impending split in last October (2011) and his future with his family.