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Company director of aviation firm disqualified for nine years

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A director of a Magherlain aviation company has been disqualified for nine years.

The High Court made the disqualification order against 40-year-old Owen McKernan, of Newforge Road, in respect of his conduct as director of McKernan Aviation Ltd.

McKernan Aviation was involved in repair and maintenance of aircraft and spacecraft with a registered office at Newforge Road, Magheralin.

It went into liquidation on July 8, 2021 with an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £19,800. There was a total of £1 owing as share capital, resulting in an estimated deficiency as regards members of £19,801.

The court made the disqualification order against McKernan on May 9, 2024 based on the unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed.

The unfit conduct included applying for and obtaining a Bounce Back Loan of £18,750 to which the company was not fully entitled.

Based on the estimated turnover calculated, he was only entitled under the terms of the Bounce Back Loan to apply for and obtain a Bounce Back Loan of £10,000, therefore the company obtained the benefit of an additional £8,750 to which it was not entitled.

McKernan was further to have caused and/or permitted the misapplication of company funds and/or acted in a manner to benefit himself and/or his father rather than the company by making a redundancy payment of £11,400 to his father, James McKernan.

A spokesperson for the Department for the Economy said: “This was done in order to extract money tax free from the Company for the benefit of himself and / or his father.

“The Bounce Back Loan ultimately did not provide any economic benefit to McKernan Aviation Ltd and therefore contravened the conditions attached to the Bounce Back Loan.

“Furthermore, James McKernan received an additional £2,220 of salary which was not declared in his P45.”

The Department has accepted one disqualification undertaking and the court has made one disqualification order in the financial year commencing April 1, 2024.

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