DID they see this coming?
The firm behind Irish Psychics Live, founded by space buff Tom Higgins, has crashed back to earth and gone out of business.
ComReg confirmed yesterday that the firm behind Ireland's most high-profile and controversial premium phone line service has ceased trading.
The Revenue Commissioners also published a notice confirming that it has petitioned for the High Court to wind up Realm Communications Ltd.
The notice confirmed that creditor to the firm, Collector General, Michael Gladney of Sarsfield House, Francis Street, Limerick, presented to the High Court on January 15 the petition for the wind-up of the firm.
The petition is to be heard before the High Court on February 3 and Revenue has advised any creditor, who wishes to support or oppose the winding-up order, is invited to attend the court.
A spokesman for ComReg confirmed that Realm Communications Ltd – that operated Irish Psychics Live – has advised that it has ceased trading and no longer operates any premium rate phone services.
The premium phone line business was established by former journalist Tom Higgins in 1998. The company built up a large cash pile over the years before Mr Higgins and his wife, Theresa Dunne, cashed out in 2009 sharing a dividend payout of €9m.
Callers to the premium phone line were charged €2.40 a minute for instant psychic readings.
The colourful Mr Higgins has previously declared his intention to be the first Irish person in space on board Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic after paying $200,000 (€146,000) for the privilege.
The website for Irish Psychics Live – no longer operating – stated that it was "operated by genuine Celtic psychics, the most psychic race in the world.
"Only the most spiritually gifted individuals are selected to participate in this site".
Mr Higgins sold Realm Communications Ltd to Gavin Hickey and Maxine Payne in 2009 and the most recent figures show that after his departure as director, the firm quickly became loss-making recording a pre-tax loss of €315,225 in 2010 after recording a post tax profit of €1.1m in 2009.
This arose from the firm's income plummeting with the abridged accounts for the 12 months to the end of April 30 2010 showing its gross profit declined by 72pc from €4.27m to €1.19m.