Business Irish

Friday 30 September 2016

Legal matters put liquidation of psychic service 'on hold'

Gordon Deegan

Published 05/05/2016 | 02:30

Tom Higgins. Photo: Garry O'Neill
Tom Higgins. Photo: Garry O'Neill

Unspecified legal matters are delaying the termination of the winding up of the collapsed firm behind Irish Psychics Live.

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The firm, founded and subsequently sold on by space buff Tom Higgins, left debts of over €2m to unsecured creditors when it collapsed - four years after Mr Higgins sold the business.

The firm, Realm Communications Ltd, was behind what was Ireland's most high profile premium phone line service before it ceased trading in 2013. In February 2014, Eamon Leahy of Leahy & Co, Fairview, Dublin, was appointed as liquidator to the firm.

The appointment of Mr Leahy followed the Revenue Commissioners publishing a notice confirming that it had petitioned for the High Court to wind up Realm Communications Ltd. The phone line business was established by former journalist Tom Higgins in 1998 and built up a large cash pile over the years before Mr Higgins and his wife, Theresa Dunne, cashed out in 2009 sharing a dividend payout of €9m.

Callers to the line were charged €2.40 per minute for instant psychic readings. Mr Higgins sold Realm Communications Ltd to Gavin Hickey and Maxine Payne in 2009.

After Mr Higgins's departure as director, the firm became loss-making recording a pre-tax loss of €315,225 in 2010.

New documents lodged with the Companies Office show there is little prospect of the unsecured creditors recovering any of their monies. The liquidator has realised only €631 from the liquidation to date while the firm's assets are valued at 'nil'.

The total disbursements made from the liquidation are 'nil'. Under the heading of 'the causes which delay the termination of the winding up', the liquidator's statement reads 'legal matters'.

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