No one saw it coming after end of the line for Psychics Live firm
Published 02/09/2015 | 02:30
No one saw it coming… new figures show that the collapsed firm behind Irish Psychics Live has left debts of over €2m to unsecured creditors.
The firm, Realm Communications, 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.
The phone line business was established by former journalist Tom Higgins in 1998 and built up a large cash pile before Mr Higgins and his wife, Theresa Dunne, cashed out in 2009 sharing a dividend payout of €9m.
Mr Higgins had declared his dream to be the first Irish person in space onboard Richard Branson's Virgin Galactia and paid $200,000 for the privilege.
Callers to the premium phone line were charged €2.40 per minute for instant psychic readings and the rates were the subject of calls to Liveline and an on-air spat on RTE between Pat Kenny and Mr Higgins.
The defunct website for Irish Psychics Live stated it was "operated by genuine Celtic psychics, the most psychic race in the world. Only the most spiritually gifted individuals are selected to participate in this site".
Mr Higgins sold Realm Communications to Gavin Hickey and Maxine Payne in 2009 and after Mr Higgins's departure as director, the firm recorded a pre-tax loss of €315,225 in 2010 after recording a post tax profit of €1.1m in 2009.
Abridged accounts for the 12 months to the end of April 30, 2010, show its gross profit fell by 72pc from €4.27m to €1.19m.
The figures show that at the end of the period, €805,714 was owed to Revenue through €479,332 in corporation tax, €191,407 in VAT and €134,975 in PAYE/PRSI.
It is not known how the firm has fared financially since 2010 as the company hasn't filed any accounts since.
Now, new documents lodged with the Companies Office by the liquidator show the firm owed €2.01m to unsecured creditors at the time of commencement of winding up the firm.
Mr Leahy's document lodged with the Companies Office states that the company had 'nil' assets at the time of the firm being wound up.
In the documentation outlining what has occurred in the liquidation to August 23 last (2015), Mr Leahy estimates that the winding up of the firm will take two years and in response to the causes which may delay the termination of the winding up, 'legal matters' is inserted.
Leahy & Co yesterday declined to comment when contacted.