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Developer Smyth restricted in acting as firm director

ONE of Dublin's biggest boom- era property investors, Liam Smyth, has been restricted in acting as a company director for five years by the High Court.

It's the latest blow to the businessman who has already seen much of his once-formidable property empire seized by lenders.

A court order seen by the Irish Independent and dated July 16 shows that developer Liam Smyth and Ita Smyth, both with an address on Dublin's plush Clyde Road, have been restricted under Section 150 of the Companies Act, severely limiting their ability to act as a company director.

The restrictions follow the collapse of their Rockin Fashions, a company that operated a number of fashion outlets in Dublin. The order for a restriction was sought by liquidator Martin Ferris, who was appointed to wind up Rockin Fashions through a voluntary liquidation.

During the liquidation it emerged that Rockin Fashions failed to make a single VAT payment during its two years of trading. The company owed €490,000 in VAT when it collapsed, making up the bulk of its €533,000 debt to the Revenue Commissioners.

While the pair can still act as company directors, the Section 150 restriction means Liam Smyth and Ita Smyth will only be able to run a business under tight constraints. That includes having to have at least €63,000 in paid-in capital in the business at all times. Most companies in Ireland operate with paid-in capital of as little as €2.

A restriction can also affect a person's ability to run a business outside Ireland, and means lenders are likely to be wary of advancing loans in future.

It's the latest blow to the businessman who has seen key assets seized by creditors

Last year AIB seized control of a €100m building owned by Mr Smyth on London's Oxford Street over a £60m (€74m) property debt.

AIB also appointed receivers to two Smyth companies that owned office blocks on Lower Leeson Street and Adelaide Road.

IBRC (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation), the former Anglo Irish Bank, has also secured court orders instructing Mr Smyth to repay €28m in unpaid property loans and guarantees.

Irish Independent