'We didn’t know it was that serious' says Louis Walsh as he reveals Westlife's Shane Filan hid his money troubles from the band
14:18 GMT, 22 June 2012
Last week Westlife's Shane Filan was declared bankrupt as it was revealed his property empire caused him to rake up debts of 18million despite having sold 45million records.
Now Louis Walsh who manages the successful group has spoken out about Shane's woes and has told how the 32-year-old only told the group of his financial troubles six months ago in an 'emotional' meeting.
Walsh also explained how himself and Filan's band mates were unaware how 'serious' his trouble were because he kept quiet as he didn't want to ruin the band's last string of performances together.
Hidden troubles: Louis Walsh revealed that Shane Filan who was declared bankrupt last week hid his money struggles from his band Westlife
The X Factor judge told the Mirror: 'We didn’t know it was that serious. He didn’t tell us much because he didn’t want to drag the boys down with it.'
As Westlife prepare to to take to the stage for one last time after a 14 year career in front of 83,000 fans at Croke Park in Dublin, Walsh told how Shane told him he would start rebuilding his life after their final performance tomorrow.
'Last night Shane told me, “All I want to do is just get on with it. Pick up the pieces, go out on a high with Westlife and start again.”'
As well as managing the band for the entirety of their career Louis also regards the boys in Westlife as his close friends and he told the newspaper that it will be hard to say goodbye.
The 59-year-old admitted that there would be 'tears' as he's had an 'amazing time' with the boys since Cowell first signed them in 1998.
He told the paper: 'I have never known a band like this and we have had an amazing time. I have never known a band and a manager get on as well as we do.'
There will be tears: Louis admitted that he would find Westlife's farewell emotional
Confirming the sad news of his bankruptcy last week, Irish
heartthrob Shane explained he had spoken to several experts
in an attempt to find a solution to his financial issues, but his
efforts had failed.
Speaking to the Mirror Shane said: 'I
have worked long and hard to try to reduce my debts, and I am devastated
that it came to this conclusion.'
Shane added that he would be concentrating on his commitments with Westlife, who are currently completing their final tour.
He said that after the tour has finished, he will be 'looking to rebuild a future for my wife, my
three children and myself'.
In concert: Westlife will perform for the last time in Dublin tomorrow at Croke Park
Before the economic crisis hit, Shane and his brother Finbarr had borrowed millions from several banks in their native Ireland.
Their company Shafin developments had taken out a series of large loans to construct a 90-home estate in Dromahair, Co.Leitrim.
However, out of the 90 houses planned, only half of them were actually constructed – with many selling for less than they had cost to build.
At the end of last year, Shane made the decision to relocate from Ireland to Surrey so that his finances could be dealt with in the UK.
His bankruptcy could have lasted up to 12 years in Ireland but will last just one year if he complies with the rules.
Happier times: Shane with his developer brother Finbarr Filan, of Shafin Developments Ltd.
Luxurious: The house in Carraroe, Co Sligo, where Shane and his family lived before moving to Surrey
Abandoned: The property crash has resulted in more than 1,600 ghost estates across Ireland, including the Glenall development in Borris-in-Ossory, Co. Laois
Westlife have scored 14 number one singles in the UK and more than two dozen top 10 hits.
In 2010, the group were estimated to
have amassed a 31million fortune after shifting more than 44 million
copies of their records around the world.
Following the end of Westlife, Shane will be concentrating on releasing his own solo album next year.
The group's manager Louis Walsh told the Mirror: 'Shane is going to have a massive career after Westlife.
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.'
Father of three: Shane and his wife Gillian now live in Surrey with their three children
VIDEO: Westlife have sold more than 45million records, see some of their greatest hits…
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