Belfast Telegraph

Former tour operator declared bankrupt

By Clare Weir

A former operator of the Belfast City Sightseeing tour company has been listed as bankrupt.

Joe Lavelle applied for a debtor’s petition in late November, which was served on December 2.

In March, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs officials seized a fleet of 13 buses used to run the tours around Belfast since 2003.

Lavelle and partner Paul Johnston were locked in a legal dispute over the dissolution of the business.

In April, Mr Justice Deeny formally dissolved the partnership.

A writ issued to secure the dissolution had been resisted by Mr Johnston, with allegations made of actions having “destroyed” the business. But in court in April, Ronan Lavery, for Mr Johnston, confirmed that his client was not in a financial position to continue with defending the case.

John Coyle, appearing for Mr Lavelle, told the court that serving the writ in January had marked the end of the partnership.

Mr Justice Deeny ruled that the formal dissolution should be recorded as having taken place on or before that date.

He also awarded costs of bringing the case to Mr Lavelle.

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