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Sunday 31 August 2014

Business owned by ex-lover of 'Lying Eyes' worth €27m

Gordon Deegan

Published 19/01/2013 | 05:00

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THE man at the centre of the 'Lying Eyes' hitman plot is enjoying business success – sitting on assets worth €27.5m in one company alone.

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New accounts filed by the main property firm owned by Co Clare man PJ Howard show that Downes & Howard Ltd bucked the recessionary trend to record profits in 2011.

During that time it increased the value of its fixed assets from €27.3m to €27.5m.

Mr Howard was embroiled in an incredible hitman plot with his former partner, Sharon Collins (48).

Ms Collins was released from jail last September after serving a sentence for soliciting Las Vegas poker player Essam Eid to kill Mr Howard (63) and his two sons, Robert (33) and Niall (29).

She had been jailed for six years after being found guilty in July 2008 following a trial that lasted 32 days.

Ms Collins continues to maintain her innocence and has been back home to Ennis since her release.

During her trial, the prosecution maintained that Ms Collins was motivated by money and was trying to inherit Mr Howard's multi-million euro fortune.

Ms Collins was accused of using the cyber name 'lyingeyes 98' to investigate the hiring of a hitman on the internet.

Company filings lodged by PJ Howard with the Companies Office show that Downes & Howard Ltd recorded an increase in profits in 2011 going from €1.903m to €1.986m in accumulated profits.

The accounts for Downes & Howard Ltd, which offer limited information as it is a small company, show that the company's shareholder funds increased from €10.89m to €10.97m in 2011.

The figures show that the firm had bank loans totalling €16.8m that are repayable between two and five years.

Profits

The accounts show that PJ Howard owns 49,999 of the ordinary shares, with Robert owning 26,500 shares and Niall owning 23,500 shares.

Accounts for a separate company jointly owned by the Howards, Waymill Ltd, show that it increased the value of its assets from €9.6m to €9.7m in 2011.

The accounts show that the property company recorded a profit of €72.272 in 2011 with accumulated profits increasing from €878,319 to €950,591.

Irish Independent

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