‘He had no garage’: Offaly man’s €11m tax bill is the talk of Cloghan

Locals surprised at the size of tax debt for a car dealer without a vehicle showroom

Locals say James Joseph Daly is often seen on the side of the road chatting on his mobile phone. Photograph: Street View

Locals say James Joseph Daly is often seen on the side of the road chatting on his mobile phone. Photograph: Street View

 

Talk of a local man getting hit with a whopping €11.7 million tax bill was on everyone’s lips in the small village of Cloghan, Co Offaly.

“Ah sure it is the talk of the place,” said one man yesterday afternoon as Cloghan’s residents digested news of the massive tax settlement.

There was surprise that the name of James Joseph Daly – a motor vehicle dealer better known as JJ Daly in the village – appeared in the latest three-month list of tax defaulters published by the Revenue Commissioners.

Mr Daly, of Grays Meadow, Cloghan, trades as Any Gear and was caught in a Revenue investigation case for non-declaration of income tax and Vat.

Tax due of almost €4.6 million was accompanied by a bill including interest of €2.5 million and penalties of €4.7 million. None of the total €11.7 million settlement had been paid at the end of March.

The motor dealer was one of 30 cases in the list. However his settlement accounted for more than half the total settlements of €21 million published on Tuesday.

For a one-shop, one-pub village such as Cloghan, the settlement was big news, but the surprise locally was compounded by the fact that Mr Daly does not appear to operate a car showroom in the area or to have many cars near or at his home. “He had no garage – nothing like that,” said one local man.

“It is kind of a mystery,” said another local. “How does one man end up having a tax liability like that? I just can’t understand it. I don’t know what way to calculate it.”

Locals say Mr Daly is often seen driving cars with yellow UK registration plates and is regularly spotted parked on the side of the road chatting on his mobile phone.

“He doesn’t live a flamboyant lifestyle,” said one.

James Joseph Daly could not be reached for comment. The 55-year-old is listed as a director of Five Roads Trading Ventures Limited, a company involved in motor vehicle sales, although the tax settlement relates to Mr Daly personally.

The company’s only asset at the end of 2019 was €121 in its bank account, according to its most recently filed accounts.

Mr Daly was the director of a tyre business in the Co Offaly village called Cloghan Tyre Services. However that business went into liquidation in 2004.

Mr Daly was disqualified from being a director of a company for five years from 2005 by the High Court.

Separately, the family are well known in the area. Mr Daly’s father ran the local farmer’s co-op and his brother Paddy Daly once ran the local shop and filling station.