Belfast Telegraph

Director ban for former owners of top Northern Ireland restaurants

Two former owners of the popular Northern Ireland restaurants Oregano and The Potted Hen have been banned from being company directors for eight years.

Catherine Mary Regan (43) of Ross Mill Avenue, Belfast and Dermot John Regan (41) of Dungannon Road, Moy, Dungannon were both disqualified for eight years in respect of their conduct as directors of Oregano Belfast Limited following a hearing in Belfast High Court.

They ran the Potted Hen in St Anne's Square Belfast and Oregano in Newtownabbey.

The Department for the Economy said the company operated as a licenced restaurant, under the trade name of The Potted Hen, from Edward Street, Belfast and went into liquidation on 25 April 2014 with estimated total assets available for creditors of £43,300, liabilities to creditors of £408,653 and an estimated deficiency of £365,353.

After taking into account the losses incurred by shareholders the estimated total deficiency was £365,453.

The Regan's were alleged to have failed to deliver all company books and records to the joint liquidators, they failed to promote the success of the company in that company funds of £64,000 were diverted away from it and its creditors and instead were used for the benefit of their partnership business.

They were also accused of causing and permitting the Company to operate a policy of discrimination against the Crown by retaining £332,194 that was properly payable to the Crown consisting of £7,254 in respect of PAYE for the tax year 2013/14, £92,848 in respect of national insurance contributions for the tax years 2012/13 and 2013/14 and £232,092 in respect of VAT for the tax years 2012/13 and 2013/14 during which time the company was making significant payments to its trade creditors.

And they were alleged to have failed in their duties as directors of the company to file annual accounts for the years ended 30 September 2011 and 30 September 2012, within the prescribed period.

The department accepted 11 disqualification undertakings and the court made four orders disqualifying directors in the financial year commencing 1 April 2017.

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