Business Irish

Thursday 17 October 2019

Companies Office strikes off well-known equestrian centre

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

THE company behind one of the country's biggest equestrian centres has been struck off and dissolved.

Kildare International Equestrian Centre, whose 65-acre estate at Rathmore near Naas has played host to some prestigious horse-riding events since it opened in June 2006, was struck off and dissolved by the Companies Office last week, new filings show.

The so-called involuntary strike-off potentially places directors of the firm in a precarious position.

While the centre – which claims to be home to one of Europe's biggest indoor equestrian arenas – continues to trade, it now does so without limited liability. That means that its directors – William, or Liam, Gaffney and Marcella Gaffney are personally liable for any of the debts the business incurs since the date of dissolution.

The Companies Office (CRO) will strike off a company if it has not made an annual return for one year.

Kildare International Equestrian Centre last submitted an annual return in March 2011 and a set of accounts on the same date.

The CRO warns that when a company is involuntarily struck-off, its ceases to be a legal entity and the assets of the company become the property of the State upon dissolution.

"If the business formerly carried on through the company is continued, the owners are trading in their personal capacity."

It cautions: "There can also be unpleasant consequences for directors of such companies in that a disqualification order may be made against them by the High Court on the application of the Director of Corporate Enforcement."

Although a company can be restored to the register, the CRO warns it can be a costly procedure; it also requires requests from a former company director, a letter from the Chief State Solicitor's Office and a letter of no objection from the Revenue Commissioners.

The most recently available set of accounts for the Kildare equestrian centre, for the financial year to the end of June 2011, show it made a loss of about €133,000 that year.

It had a more than €621,000 deficiency in assets at the end of that financial year.

Almost €1.5m was owed to the company's two directors at the end of the period.

Mr Gaffney was not contactable yesterday.

Irish Independent

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