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Connacht Tribune

Publican tops latest list of local tax defaulters

Enda Cunningham

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A publican and an amusement centre operator are among those who appear on Revenue’s latest quarterly list of tax defaulters.

In the list published this week – for the period from January 1 to March 31 – four Galway businesses or individuals appear on the list of 62 cases nationally.

The total value of the Galway settlements was €265,831.

Thomas Tonery of Tonery’s Bar in Bohermore, topped the local list, reaching a settlement of €95,013 for under-declaration of income tax and VAT following an audit. The settlement comprises more than €44,600 in tax; €13,400 in interest and almost €35,000 in penalties.

Oldside Enterprises Ltd, which operates Seapoint Leisure Centre in Salthill, reached a settlement totalling €69,300 for under-declaration of Corporation Tax and VAT following a Revenue audit. The settlement comprises more than €47,600 in tax; €12,000 in interest and just under €9,600 in penalties.

Siam Food Ltd, which operates Lana Asian restaurant in Salthill, reached a settlement of €58,400 for under-declaration of VAT following a Revenue audit. The settlement involved €41,650 in tax; €4,200 in interest and almost €12,500 in penalties.

The final settlement was reached by haulier James Linnane of Cushatrower, Roundstone, following a Revenue audit. The settlement was reached for under-declaration of income tax, PAYE, PRSI, USC and VAT. It comprised €21,140 in tax; almost €10,850 in interest and more than €43,100 in penalties.

None of the Galway settlements are listed by Revenue as having monies unpaid.

Nationally, the 62 settlements for the first quarter of 2019 totalled more than €21.1 million. The largest settlement was for almost €12.4m by Eurosurgical Ltd in Dublin, a medical and surgical equipment distributor which is now in liquidation, which was pursued by Revenue for under-declaration of Corporation Tax, PAYE, PRSI, USC and VAT. The company is now in liquidation and around €11m remains unpaid.

Connacht Tribune

Limited go-ahead for marts

Francis Farragher

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Marts: Individual sales to be allowed.

MART managers and staff across the county are busy this week preparing operating protocols for approval by the Dept. of Agriculture that will allow for the limited sale of livestock during the current COVID-19 emergency.

On Tuesday, the Dept. of Agriculture confirmed that they would be allowing marts to handle livestock sales in a limited way – marts will liaise with buyers and sellers; arrange for the weighing of the animals; and process payments.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, said that the Dept. had issued guidance to marts for ‘a very limited range of essential services’ that would not require people to assemble: the transactions would include calf sales, the weighing of livestock, and an online or brokerage service.

Ray Doyle of ICOS (Irish Co-operative Organisation Society) this week thanked the Government for their announcement, adding that ‘it was reasonable’ for a form of trading to continue to alleviate the current economic burden on farmers.

He pointed out that only mart staff would handle the animals; the buyer and seller would not have contact with each other; each could observe the weighing data; the buyer could view the animals from a distance; the sale would be completed electronically; no visitors or members of the public would be admitted; full sanitisation protocols would be observed; with the sale to be completed electronically.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Self-isolation success staves off Covid-19 surge – for now

Dara Bradley

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Anaesthetic Registrar Dr Robbie Sparks with Clinical Facilitator Claire Lavelle simulating an intubation of a patient with COVID-19 in the ICU at UHG. (Photo supplied by UHG because of visitor restrictions)

The predicted surge in Covid19-related admissions to Galway’s hospitals has been delayed – for now – giving much-needed breathing space to ramp-up preparations and increase Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity and beds for when it does hit.

But hospital management remains concerned in particular with the ‘significant’ number of staff in the West who have been taken off the frontline because they are ill from coronavirus, or self-isolating as a precaution after coming in close contact with an infected person.

And as the latest figures show 86 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Galway – seven times the figure from a fortnight ago – the HSE has conceded that local testing for the virus was suspended Sunday due to a shortage of testing kits. Limited testing resumed on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, although hospital chiefs in the West insist they have sufficient levels of personal protective equipment (PPE), nursing homes across Galway are facing a shortage of basic equipment such as masks, and many have appealed to the public for donations.

Chief Clinical Director Saolta Group, and consultant cardiologist, Dr Pat Nash, said UHG, the main Covid-19 hospital in the West, has experienced increased activity but ‘not a huge surge in admissions’.

“The hospital still has significant capacity available both on wards and ICU,” he said.

But Dr Nash stressed there was no room for complacency and the public needed to continue to observe social distancing, stay at home and practice hand hygiene.

 

See full story – and 23 pages of coverage on the Covid-19 crisis in Galway – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or available to buy as a digital edition via our website www.connachttribune.ie. The Tribune can also be ordered as part of your shopping delivery from most outlets now.

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Connacht Tribune

Loan sharks prey on families hit by pandemic

Denise McNamara

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Moneylenders have been targeting working class areas in Galway where hundreds of people have lost their jobs in the lockdown, encouraging them to take out loans with exorbitant interest rates.

Deputy for Galway East Sean Canny said he had received several reports of estates in the city where leaflets had been distributed recently by legitimate loan sharks.

“These people are licensed so they are not doing anything illegal but I do think it’s immoral in these times and my advice is to ignore money lenders,” he stressed.

“We have credit unions where people can go to for advice and for loans and we have MABS [Money Advice and Budgeting Service] which can provide advice that maybe they don’t need more money but may need to manage their budget better.

“People don’t make the best decisions when they’re stressed but I would really urge them not to go down this road because they can charge interest rates of 187% which is really fleecing people.”

Paul Bailey, Head of Communications at the Irish League of Credit Unions, said they have also been getting reports of leaflets being dropped by moneylenders in working class areas.

 

See full story – and 23 pages of coverage on the Covid-19 crisis in Galway – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or available to buy as a digital edition via our website www.connachttribune.ie. The Tribune can also be ordered as part of your shopping delivery from most outlets now.

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