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Wednesday 19 June 2019

Haughey's helicopter firm crashes to earth

Ciaran Haughey (left) and one of the company's helicopters
Ciaran Haughey (left) and one of the company's helicopters
Ciaran Haughey (left) and one of the company's helicopters
Ciaran Haughey (left) and one of the company's helicopters
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

CELTIC Helicopters, the controversial firm owned by a son of former taoiseach Charles Haughey, faces liquidation within weeks, the Irish Independent has learned.

It looks set to be the final grounding for a company that has rarely been out of the headlines since it was set up in 1985 by Ciaran Haughey and his fellow pilot John Barnicle.

Links to the late Charles Haughey have seen Celtic Helicopters caught up in numerous controversies. The most notable was the investigation by both the McCracken and Moriarty tribunals of investments in the company by a slew of wealthy Charles Haughey supporters.

Later Mary Harney, as minister for enterprise, ordered her own investigation into Celtic Helicopters.

The business was hit with a €700,000 tax bill in 2006.

Most recently, it hit the headlines when it emerged that €3m of loans to Medeva, its parent company, were owed to NAMA.

The latest news suggests it is now close to the end of the line. A creditors' meeting has been called for August 7 at Bewleys Hotel, Dublin Airport.

A liquidator is expected to be appointed following the meeting. Accounts filed earlier this year show accumulated losses of €1.8m.

Irish Independent

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