No attempts by Flannery to reinstate company

Invoices submitted for lobbying included VAT charges, even though company had been dissolved

Frank Flannery at a Rehab Group board meeting in Sandymount, Dublin, in 2013. Mr Flannery, a former Rehab director, invoiced the charity for €66,000 in 2012 and €11,000 in 2011 using Laragh Consulting Ltd, with an address in Finglas, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Frank Flannery at a Rehab Group board meeting in Sandymount, Dublin, in 2013. Mr Flannery, a former Rehab director, invoiced the charity for €66,000 in 2012 and €11,000 in 2011 using Laragh Consulting Ltd, with an address in Finglas, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Thu, Mar 13, 2014, 01:00


Former Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery has not made any attempt to re-establish the company he used to bill Rehab for lobbying work, even though it was dissolved in 2009.

Mr Flannery, a former Rehab director, invoiced the charity for €66,000 in 2012 and €11,000 in 2011 using Laragh Consulting Ltd, with an address in Finglas, Dublin.

The company was set up in February 2007, but dissolved two years later having never filed accounts. Invoices submitted to Rehab for lobbying by Mr Flannery came from Laragh, but the address on the invoices was his home in Shankill, rather than the registered address in Finglas.

The invoices submitted by him for lobbying also included VAT charges, even though the company had been dissolved.

The Companies Registration Office yesterday said it had received no notification of any efforts to reinstate the company.

Laragh Consulting, whose directors are Mr Flannery and his wife Marguerite MacCurtain, would have to initiate a High Court process to have the company reinstated.

They would have to obtain a letter of no objection from the Registrar of Companies, the Chief State Solicitors Office on behalf of the Minister for Finance, and Revenue.

The company would then have to file any outstanding annual returns, which must be broken down by year and must not be amalgamated.

Any company seeking to be reinstated would also face the possibility of fines.


“Embarrassing oversight”
Mr Flannery did not respond to requests for a comment yesterday. In January he told this newspaper that the company was dissolved because its accounts were not filed to the Companies Office, but that the VAT and tax situation was entirely in order.

“It is an embarrassing oversight. The company was used for a bit of private business. I’m now trying to get the company restored [to the companies register]”.

It is understood the invoices were submitted reasonably regularly through 2011 and 2012. The copies seen by The Irish Times include 2011 and 2012 invoices and show VAT being charged at 21 per cent, the correct charge in 2011 but the wrong rate in 2012, when the rate had increased to 23 per cent.

It has since emerged that the money paid by Rehab to Mr Flannery was paid through a series of invoices, often for monthly amounts of €5,500, plus VAT. While he said in January that the payments were to do with Rehab’s relations with some international disability organisations, the invoices also refer to political lobbying.

The 2012 accounts for Rehab show he was paid €66,000 that year by way of Laragh Consulting. The money was actually paid by a Rehab subsidiary in Britain, TBG Learning Ltd.


21 per cent VAT
Its accounts for 2012 show he was paid €79,860 “including VAT at 23 per cent”. However this figure is the equivalent of €66,000 plus 21 per cent.

A spokesman for the Revenue said all VAT charged must be remitted to the Revenue, net of any VAT paid. He added that normally, VAT numbers were cancelled when a company was dissolved.