Fiscal irregularities…

Businessman and promenent member of Sinn Fein Des Mackin has had seven of his companies slapped with a fine of €5,000 for not keeping proper books.

In a court hearing held in December, all seven companies were given the Probation Act, provided they made a large donation to charity. The defendants agreed to give €5,000 to a charity of their choice which was not named in court. The case is due for mention in court tomorrow when the identity of the charity should emerge. The defendants in the case acknowledged that proper books had not been maintained but pleaded that the debts incurred by the companies were all intergroup and that no outsiders were affected by any failures in their operations. The companies were nearly all businesses with a high cash turnover, including Century City an amusement business, two restaurant outfits, Strike Four and Flix Restaurants, Daylong with a bar licence, Sheridan Simulations and Sheridan Theatres – both involved in motion pictures. The final company, Grove Construction, is in the property sector.

The defendants told Judge Hugh O’Donnell that six of the seven companies would be wound up as they were non-trading. The seventh, Century City, is still trading. It is intended that PricewaterhouseCoopers of Belfast will be appointed as liquidators to the companies. And in a surprise related development, it has emerged that Horwath Bastow Charlton accountants have resigned as auditors to Sheridan Simulations, one of the companies found not to have kept proper books. In a recent auditors’ report on one of the other Mackin/Curistan companies, Strike Four, HBC admitted that: “We are unable to establish whether proper books and records were kept by the company and we have not obtained all the information and explanations which we considered necessary.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty