The controversial Dolphin liquidator also faces a High Court attachment order in a separate case, writes Fearghal O’Connor
Controversial liquidator Anthony J Fitzpatrick carried out the liquidation of a tyre company that belonged to the Offaly man named last week by Revenue as an €11.7m tax defaulter.
Fitzpatrick, who is separately liquidating a key part of the collapsed Dolphin property scheme, was appointed liquidator in March 2004 to tax defaulter James Joseph Daly’s Cloghan Tyre Services.
Fitzpatrick filed the liquidator’s final statement of account for Daly’s firm 14 years later, in October 2018, after charging a €52,000 fee for the liquidation.
The Limerick-based chartered accountant is currently facing a series of legal issues surrounding various unconnected liquidations he has undertaken. In the latest blow to Fitzpatrick, the High Court made an ex-parte order in recent weeks for attachment of over €48,000 in fees owed to Fitzpatrick from a liquidation he carried out.
The court has ordered that the fee be used to pay another liquidator, Myles Kirby, unpaid costs awarded against Fitzpatrick as part of another case. The court had also ordered Fitzpatrick’s attendance in court to show cause as to why he should not have to pay the €48,000 to Kirby. Fitzpatrick did not attend the court and the case was put back for a week.
Both Fitzpatrick and Kirby are currently acting as liquidators to two different companies linked to the Dolphin scandal.
Kirby was appointed by the High Court in April to liquidate MUT 103 Ltd and Fitzpatrick was appointed by the directors of Dolphin International Group in October 2019 to carry out the ongoing voluntary wind-up of the Cork-based firm that at one stage was the nerve-centre of the now-infamous Dolphin property scheme.
Fitzpatrick, who did not respond to detailed questions from the Sunday Independent, has acted as liquidator to hundreds of firms – with many liquidations, including that of Dolphin International, still under way, according to filings in the Companies Registration Office.
His Limerick-based firm, Fitzpatrick O’Dwyer, also acted as accountant at another firm owned by JJ Daly, Five Roads Trading Ventures Ltd, which was incorporated in 2012, according to filings.
Daly had in 2005 been the subject of a five-year disqualification order in connection with Cloghan Tyre Services, the firm that was liquidated by Fitzpatrick.
Three months after that disqualification, Daly, who declined to comment when contacted by the Sunday Independent, registered the business name Any Gear – the trading name cited by Revenue on last week’s list of tax defaulters.
The latest accounts filed for Positive Accounting Solutions Ltd, which trades as Fitzpatrick O’Dwyer, Fitzpatrick’s Limerick practice, showed a more than €400,000 deficit in equity shareholders’ funds for 2020, with the deficit having risen by €150,000 since 2019.
Fitzpatrick told the Sunday Independent last month he was “amazed” by a threat by the Court of Appeal to report him to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and to Chartered Accountants Ireland over concerns it has about money missing from the liquidation account of a restaurant firm, Lucca Food Trading, which he wound up and which owed Revenue almost €200,000.