A judge has warned a “failed promoter” he could be sent to jail if he does not get a “normal” job to pay back a debt of about €250,000 to comedian Mario Rosenstock.
Dublin District Court’s enforcement list heard yesterday that concert and events promoter, Darryl Downey, owes money to Blue Elf Inc Ltd, the company owned by mimic Rosenstock. His company is looking to have Downey jailed as a result of arrears.
Comedian Mr Rosenstock, who rose to fame with his Gift Grub sketches on TodayFM and now has a successful show on RTÉ, was not present for the hearing.
Judge Michael Coghlan said Downey is a “failed promoter” and put the case back until February “to enable him to get a job, any job”. “If I hear he is continuing to hope for the next big deal I will run out of patience”, he said, saying he wanted to hear that he gets a job “that pays a normal weekly wage”.
The debt is the subject of a High Court judgment and in January the district court granted a variation on the instalment order reducing the monthly repayment from €5,000 to €1,500. However, Jane Linnane, counsel for Blue Elf Inc Ltd, told Judge Michael Coghlan at the district court yesterday that since January just €5,400 has been paid by Downey to her client. Ms Linnane said that since September just €900 was paid, while in the same period Downey made payments to another creditor who was not the subject of a judgment. Counsel submitted this money should have gone to her client. She also said he has increased his living expenses and money should have also been used to pay the debt to Blue Elf.
She said Blue Elf Inc Ltd and the court’s orders have been continuously ignored and she said it is in those circumstances that a committal warrant is being sought. She also said that in September Downey went to America and spent about €11,000.
Downey’s barrister Tessa White told Judge Coghlan her client wants to give evidence.
Downey said he cannot afford to pay any more. The court heard he had been a self-employed concert and events promoter since 2003 but is out of work. He said the case relates to a number of live shows since 2012 as a result of which about €750,000 was owed to Blue Elf Inc Ltd. Some €500,000 was paid over. He said he does not presently have the funds to pay the rest. His company, Jarash Ltd, has about €28,000 but his counsel explained those funds are needed to get shows off the ground.
Mr Downey also claimed he was led to believe by his accountant that he was due to receive a €200,000 Vat refund but that did not materialise. He said since the instalment order was made he has had to borrow €4,000 from his mother.
He said he is not in a position to pay back €1,500 a month and that he has just €4 in his personal account, €1 in a business account, €10 in his pocket, and a €28,000 overdraft. He applied for social welfare but that was refused, the court heard.
Judge Coghlan said the matter has been before him several times and said Mr Downey’s credibility is very poor and he has come to the conclusion he has not given full information.
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