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Tandragee directors handed lengthy disqualifications after jewellers go bust

Two Co Armagh directors have been handed seven year disqualifications after their jewellery company went bust.

The Department for the Economy has accepted disqualification undertakings for seven years from Nigel O’Hara (64) and seven years from Jill O’Hara (63), both of Ballyknock Road, Tandragee.

They also accepted a heavier disqualification of nine years from Richard O’Hara (37) of Linvara, Tandragee, in respect of their conduct as directors of JRN Retail Group Limited.

Nigel O’Hara had publicly blamed the “negative influence of Rushmere and traffic wardens on the town” as a reason for closing up shop after 42 years in November 2015.

The Company traded in the retail of watches and jewellery from William Street, Portadown,  and went into administration on November 30, 2015 and subsequently went into liquidation on May 26, 2017 with estimated total assets available for preferential creditors of £46,745, preferential creditors of £2,000, estimated total assets available to unsecured creditors of £44,745, unsecured non-preferential claims of £1,816,643 and an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £1,771,898.

After taking into account the losses incurred by members (the shareholders) of the Company the estimated total deficiency was £1,771,998.

The Department accepted the disqualification undertaking from Nigel O’Hara on February 15, 2018 based on the following unfit conduct, which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure, was not disputed.

He was found to have caused and permitted the Company to fail to maintain and/or preserve and/or deliver up adequate accounting records, sufficient for the joint administrators to disclose the financial position of the Company in the last 12 months of trading.

The Department accepted the disqualification undertaking from Jill O’Hara on 15 February 2018 based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed: acting as a de facto director of the Company by holding herself out to creditors as the Financial Director of the Company, assuming responsibility for the Company’s financial affairs and exerting control over the daily business of the Company; causing and permitting the Company to fail to maintain and/or preserve and/or deliver up adequate accounting records, sufficient for the Joint Administrators to disclose the financial position of the Company in the last 12 months of trading.

The Department accepted the disqualification undertaking from Richard O’Hara on February 15, 2018 based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed: causing and permitting the Company to fail to maintain and/or preserve and/or deliver up adequate accounting records, sufficient for the joint administrators to disclose the financial position of the Company in the last 12 months of trading; acting in contravention of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, by taking monies from customers for goods which were not received as well as misleading customers as to the price and availability of stock.

The Department has accepted 34 disqualification undertakings and the court has made five orders disqualifying directors in the financial year commencing April 1, 2017.

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