Bannow publican grilled on finances
Published 29/01/2016 | 00:00
A Carrig-on-Bannow publican was given a thorough grilling about his financial situation when he gave evidence to Wexford District Court on January 19.
John Murphy was put in the witness box by Wexford County Council, who were seeking an instalment order for payment of overdue rates.
He confirmed that he had an Irish Lights pension worth €90 per week and that he drew €100 per week in cash from the till at Colfer's pub, with the approval of Heather Breeze Limited.
He explained that he worked in the pub for the company and that his wife Teresa, who was also named in the legal action by the council, drew money too from the pub, at a rate in her case of €120 per week.
Murphy confirmed to the local authority's solicitor Caitriona Walsh that he owned the premises up to the time that it went into receivership in the autumn of 2013.
Ms Walsh was curious about the relationship between the Heather Breeze company and the witness.
The debtor said that the firm became involved after he spoke to some people who wanted to help him.
Receivers Grant Thornton tried to take possession of the property, without success.
Murphy reckoned that Grant Thornton had him in the High Court 23 times and he insisted that he did not organise anything.
He said that he deals with an entity called Tuskar Partners, specifically through Alan Hynes.
Ms Walsh pointed out to the witness that he remained the name on the licence at Colfer's.
'That would surprise me,' was the reply.
He confirmed to the solicitor that €114,000 was outstanding on the family home mortgage, which was the subject of proceedings.
His wife had €6,000 in credit card debt and mention was also made of €80,000 outstanding on another property close to the pub in Carrig-on-Bannow, with €26,000 in arrears.
'I don't have disposable income,' he concluded with an offer to try to pay €20 to the county council.
Judge Gerard Haughton had no doubt but that John Murphy was being evasive in his evidence about the relationship with Heather Breeze.
On the other hand, there was no indication that John and Teresa Murphy had any substantial income over and above what had been disclosed to the court.
He made out an order requiring the couple to pay €20 a week to Wexford County Council.