Healy-Rae firm turns profit while in receipt of Covid-19 supports

Data for Black Cap & Company Ltd show TD and wife paid over €100,000 in last two years

A company linked to a petrol station and shop owned by Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae and his wife Eileen turned a profit of more than €70,000 while it availed of State coronavirus supports totalling €122,300.

Financial statements for Black Cap & Company Ltd also show that the Healy-Raes – who are the company directors – were paid more than €100,000 in the past two years, a report in the Sunday Times has revealed.

The company has been listed by Revenue as a recipient of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) at various different times over 2020 and 2021.

Financial statements for Black Cap & Company for the year ending April 30th, 2021 show “Government grants” totalling €122,300 over two years. They show a profit for that financial year of €71,571 and for 2020 of €5,938.


Remuneration for Mr Healy-Rae and his wife was €45,032 in 2020 and €56,255 in 2021.

The company operates from a building owned by Mr Healy-Rae and €12,000 was paid to him for the use of the premises.

The Revenue website lists Black Cap & Company among EWSS recipients in 2020 and it is also listed for the first quarter of 2021. It is not listed in quarters two and three of this year and the list for the fourth quarter has not yet been published.

Another of Mr Healy-Rae's companies – Roughty Plant Hire Ltd – has been in receipt of EWSS support though it has yet to file accounts for 2021.

No response

Companies had to show a drop in turnover of at least 30 per cent to avail of payments under the scheme brought in to support businesses during the pandemic.

Mr Healy-Rae did not respond to requests for comment.

The issue of profitable companies being supported by the EWSS came to prominence earlier this month after The Irish Times revealed that O'Flaherty Holdings – which distributes Mercedes Benz in Ireland – claimed almost €1.8 million in wage subsidies last year and separately paid a similar amount in a dividend to an offshore company.

Commenting on the issue in the Dáil, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said firms that have recorded "substantial profits" or are in a position to pay "substantial dividends" should refund money they received under the EWSS.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times