Three members of the O’Hara family have been disqualified as company directors after their Portadown jewellery firm went bust leaving a debt of almost £2 million.
Nigel O’Hara (64) and Jill O’Hara (63) both of Ballyknock Road, Tandragee were disqualified for seven years while Richard O’Hara (37) of Linvara, Tandragee accepted a disqualification for nine years.
The Department for the Economy accepted the trio’s disqualifications in respect of their conduct as directors of JRN Retail Group Limited.
The jewellery store was a fixture of Portadown town centre having been trading for more than four decades.
When the jewellers announced it was closing in November 2015, Nigel O’Hara blamed the ‘negative influence of Rushmere and traffic wardens on the town, leaving me no choice but to close after 42 years in the trade’.
This morning a department spokesperson said: “The Company traded in the retail of watches and jewellery from William Street and went into administration on 30 November 2015 and subsequently went into liquidation on 26 May 2017.”
The Department added: “There was an estimated total assets available for preferential creditors of £46,745, preferential creditors of £2,000, estimated total assets available to unsecured creditors of £44,745, unsecured non-preferential claims of £1,816,643 and an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £1,771,898.
“After taking into account the losses incurred by shareholders of the Company the estimated total deficiency was £1,771,998.”
In respect of Nigel O’Hara, he was disqualified on February 15 following unfit conduct such as failing to maintain adequate accounting records.
Jill O’Hara also accepted the disqualification on 15 February based on unfit conduct such as acting as a de facto director of the company ‘by holding herself out to creditors as the Financial Director of the Company, assuming responsibility for the Company’s financial affairs and exerting control over the daily business of the Company’ and failing to maintain adequate accounting records sufficient for the Administrators.
In respect of Richard O’Hara, he accepted his disqualification for failing to maintain adequate accounting records.
He further acted in contravention of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, by taking cash from customers for goods which were not received as well as misleading customers as to the price and availability of stock.