Jay Bourke has disqualification extended to 7 years

Court finds restaurateur and publican continued to trade for some two years after he knew the operating company was insolvent

Restaurateur and publican Jay Bourke has been disqualified by the High Court from acting as a company director for seven years.

Mr Bourke had earlier this year agreed to a disqualification period of five years arising out of the liquidation of his now closed Shebeen Chic pub on South Great George’s Street in Dublin.

However, Mr Justice Robert Haughton held on Monday the period of disqualification, effective from August 1st next, should be seven years.

The judge said the focus of the misconduct by Mr Bourke in this case must be that he continued to trade for some two years after he knew the operating company was insolvent.

“He attempted to trade out of difficulties but did so for far too long and eventually Revenue petitioned for a winding up in December 2012”, the judge said.

There was an eventual VAT liability of €105,000, showing a very significant revenue which was not reflected in the books and records of the company, he said.

It had been accepted by Mr Bourke that books and records were not kept or provided and there was also a failure to make annual returns.

This was “significant misconduct and a significant loss to the taxpayer”, he said.

Taking all factors into account, the appropriate disqualification period was eight years, the judge said.

He deducted one year because of Mr Bourke’s acceptance of his behaviour after the liquidator’s grounding affidavit was filed and because a number of other sanctions originally sought against him had been withdrawn.

The judge earlier noted a claim of reckless trading against Mr Bourke had been withdrawn.

After hearing Mr Bourke was a director of 14 companies and needed a little time to resign those directorships, the judge agreed to put a stay on his order until August 1st. Those other directorships include Panti Bar and Bobos Burgers in Dublin.