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City solicitor makes €2.5m tax settlement with Revenue

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Date Published: 18-Sep-2009

Two Galway solicitors were named and shamed in the latest tax defaulters’ list and between them were forced to pay-out in excess of €3.8 million to the Revenue Commissioners.
The solicitors made the two largest settlements of all the settlements made to Revenue following its audit and investigation programmes during a three-month period earlier this year.
City solicitor Barry Fitzgerald of Kiltartan House, Forster Street, Galway paid out a total of €2.56 million – of which €1.48 million was for interest and penalties – in a settlement to Revenue for an underdeclaration of income tax, capital gains tax and VAT.
Topping the defaulters’ list, the Salthill man’s was the largest payment of the 87 defaulters in the country who made settlements between April and the end of June of this year.
Another Galway solicitor, Gerard Moylan of Lake Road, Loughrea was the subject of a Revenue bogus non-resident account investigation and he paid €1.28 million, including more than €781,748 in interest and penalties, for underdeclaration of income tax. Mr Moylan’s was the second largest settlement made to Revenue during the three-months covered in the latest list.
“Due to the absence and unprocureability of bank and personal records I was unable to satisfy Revenue that capital sums which originated from business ventures in which I was involved some 20 to 25 years ago were fully tax compliant,” Mr Moylan said yesterday in a statement.
“All taxes, interest and penalties have since been fully paid and receipted by revenue,” he added.
Earlier this year, the Galway City Tribune revealed plans by Revenue to increase its scrutiny of cash businesses in Galway with a series of unannounced visits to small retailers along the high streets of the county’s large towns. Yesterday a Revenue spokesperson said it sometimes concentrates on certain professions but added the appearance of two Galway-based solicitors on the list may be co-incidental.
The total value of the settlements made by the ten County Galway tax defaulters on the list amounted to around €5 million. As well as solicitors the Galway defaulters include company directors, a publican, a farmer, a mechanic, a builder, landlords and an employee.
Motor mechanic, Michael Duffy of Barnaboy, Turloughmore was also the subject of a Revenue bogus non-resident account probe and paid €75,000 (€53, 925 in interest and penalties) in undeclared income tax.
Company director, Patrick Martin Tighe of Frenchfort, Oranmore made a settlement relating to a single premium insurance products case. Mr Tighe made a settlement of €461,003.18 for underdeclaration of income tax, Capital Gains Tax and VAT.
Employee Brendan Darcy of Carnakib, Headford also made a settlement in relation to a single premium insurance products case – he paid €240,424.25 of which a little over €155,000 was for interest and penalties for underdeclaration of income tax and Capital Acquisitions Tax.
In another single premium insurance products case, builder and landlord Patrick Faherty of Maimín, Leitir Mór paid Revenue €85, 480 of which almost €54,000 was for interest and penalties.
Single premium insurance products case generally relate to investigations into investments by taxpayers into certain types of legitimate insurance products as a way of hiding undeclared profits or gains. The remaining four Galway settlements arose following Revenue Audit cases.
Company director Declan Bannerton of Station Road, Ballinasloe paid Revenue €211,783 in undeclared of income tax and VAT, accumulated interest and penalties. Another company director and landlord, John Duffy of Kilbannon, Tuam paid €53, 969 for underdeclaration of income tax, VAT and Capital Gains Tax and the pay-out included €32,185 in accumulated interest and penalties.
Farmer Colm Sullivan of Leam, Recess paid €21,965 for undeclared income tax, penalties and accumulated interest. Publican Anne McGhee of Attigara, Portumna paid €19, 851 for undeclared VAT, penalties and interest.
Meanwhile on a separate published list, ten more County Galway residents were also fined lesser amounts for minor tax offences. Four publicans, a taxi driver, mechanic, guesthouse owner, carpenter, shop owner and construction worker paid fines ranging from €375 to €9,500.
The offences included: failure to lodge Income Tax returns, failure to lodge VAT returns, illegal selling of cigarettes, misuse of marked mineral oil and failure to hold a current liquor licence.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.

 

For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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