Thursday 20 July 2017

Cancer lie not part of a big plan, court told

Tim Healy

CONCERT promoter Eamonn McCann yesterday denied his fake claim about having cancer was a deliberate plan to get a business associate to buy him out.

Mr McCann agreed he told fellow promoter Denis Desmond, of MCD, he had a rare blood cancer and had between three and five years to live, the High Court heard.

Under cross-examination, he denied it was part of a thought-out plan of "deception and lying" over a long period of time.

He also denied that when he had an opportunity to "fess up" over the matter, he had "lied through his teeth" to get Mr Desmond to do a deal with him. "I regret that and it is something I will have to live with," he said.

Earlier, in response to his own counsel Brian O'Moore, Mr McCann, of Deramore Drive, Belfast, said he had decided to make up the cancer story on the spur of the moment at a meeting in Jury's Croke Park Hotel in April 2006.

He said he was very worried about his situation as that year Mr Desmond had told him he was a "crap" event controller and brought in someone else for the Oxegen festival, something he took very personally.

"I told him a very bad lie and I regret it very much," Mr McCann said.

Dispute

He was giving evidence on the third day of the hearing of a dispute between the two men over a June 2006 agreement in which it was proposed Mr Desmond would buy Mr McCann's share of their alleged partnership in the promotion and operation of outdoor concerts in the Republic for 4.66 times the average net profits for the three years, 2003-2005.

But Mr McCann alleges he was unable to find out what was due to him because Mr Desmond had not kept the accounts and income of the alleged partnership separate and had permitted those funds to be used by MCD companies.

Mr Desmond denies the claims and says their relationship was not a partnership but, at best, a joint venture.

Mr McCann said the fact that business was done through limited companies operated by each man did not mean it was not a partnership.

Coming up to 2001, Mr McCann decided he would like to retire in four years' time, at age 50, and asked Mr Desmond to buy him out. Mr McCann agreed Mr Desmond had replied: "There's nothing to buy out."

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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