New figures show that the collapsed firm behind Irish Psychics Live, founded by space buff Tom Higgins, has left debts of over €2m to unsecured creditors.
The firm, Realm Communications Ltd, was behind what was Ireland’s most high-profile and controversial premium phoneline service before it ceased trading in 2013. Eight months later, in February last year, Eamon Leahy of Leahy & Co, Fairview, Dublin was appointed as liquidator.
The appointment of Mr Leahy followed the Revenue Commissioners publishing a notice confirming that it had petitioned for the High Court to wind up Realm Communications Ltd.
The premium phoneline business was established by former journalist Tom Higgins in 1998 and 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.
Mr Higgins has previously declared his intention to be the first Irish person in space on board Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactia after paying $200,000 for the privilege.
Callers to the premium phoneline were charged €2.40 per minute for instant psychic readings and the rates were the subject of calls to Liveline and an on-air spat on RTÉ between Pat Kenny and Mr Higgins.
Mr Higgins sold Realm Communications Ltd to Gavin Hickey and Maxine Payne in 2009 and after Mr Higgins’s departure as director. The firm quickly became lossmaking recording a pre-tax loss of €315,225 in 2010 after recording a post-tax profit of €1.1m in 2009. It is not known how the firm has fared financially since 2010 as it has not filed any accounts since.
Now, new documents lodged by Mr Leahy with the Companies Office as part of his role as liquidator show that the firm owed €2.01m to unsecured creditors at the time of commencement of winding up the firm, but had ‘nil’ assets at the time of being wound up.
In the documentation outlining what has occurred in the liquidation to August 23, Mr Leahy estimates the winding up of the firm will take two years.
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