| 11.2°C Dublin

No buyer yet for Breifne's taxi company

A BUYER has still not been found for disgraced businessman Breifne O'Brien's stake in a Blackrock taxi company, which is to be sold to help pay off his debts.

The courts transferred O'Brien's shares in the firm to Dublin County Sheriff last November but a buyer is still being sought three months later.

The ruined investment tycoon did not contest the orders giving over his shareholdings in companies including Blackrock Cabs.

This week, the taxi firm was still on the County Sheriff's books -- although he is in talks with three potential buyers.

At last November's hearing, O'Brien's shares in the company were transferred to the Sheriff along with his stake in Independent News and Media, AIB, Merrion Pharmaceuticals and CRH.

The transfer was ordered by Mr Justice Peter Kelly following applications by Tipperary farmers Louis and Robert Dowley, who are owed €3m in investment money.

O'Brien's socialite wife Fiona Nagle had made claims over his assets in Blackrock Cabs but was unable to fund legal representation in relation to the Dowleys' application, the judge heard yesterday.

The Dowleys are among several investors who have secured judgment for sums totalling some €18m against Mr O'Brien, over allegedly operating a "pyramid" investment scheme over some 15 years, misappropriating millions from several investors to fund his personal lifestyle and business interests.

Last year, Mr Justice Kelly also referred papers in the case to the Garda Fraud Squad.