Accumulated losses at companies in Ireland and the UK controlled by celebrity gardener, Diarmuid Gavin increased by €73,000 in 2011.
The best-selling author and TV presenter also became embroiled in controversy that year arising from plans to locate his awarding winning Irish Sky Garden to Cork City’s Fitzgerald Park.
Accounts filed by the UK-based Diarmuid Gavin Designs Ltd and the Irish-based Diarmuid Gavin Designs Ireland Ltd show deteriorating finances during 2011.
The figures for the UK firm show accumulated losses increased by £47,253 (€55,544) from £103,264 to £150,517 in the year to the end of Dec 2011, with losses at his Irish-based firm Diarmuid Gavin Designs Ireland Ltd increasing from by €17,537 from €60,389 to €77,926 in the year to the end of Aug 2011.
The UK firm had £239,844 owed to creditors within one year with current assets comprising of debtors totalling £79,626 and cash of £422. The firm had a shareholders’ deficit of £150,515.
The figures for the Irish firm show the amount owed to creditors within one year increased from €62,216 to €153,380.
The amount owed to the firm by debtors increased from €18,279 to €70,973. The firm’s shareholders deficit totalled €77,924.
The auditor for Diarmuid Gavin Designs Ireland Ltd, Elizabeth Rogers, confirmed the company was loss making during the year and that there existed on Aug 31, 2011, a financial situation that would require the convening of a extraordinary general meeting as the net assets of the company were not more than half of the amount of its called-up share capital.
Mr Gavin, 48, won the Gold Medal at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in 2011.
However, speaking later that year, Mr Gavin told of the financial troubles he faced while constructing the garden before he was eventually paid for the work.
“We did nothing wrong, we couldn’t get paid. I can’t sustain a €500,000 garden at Chelsea.
“Our suppliers had taken out loans to build this garden and people were sleeping on floors wherever they could, but I couldn’t pull out. People were squabbling over our contract, and who was responsible for what.”
Mr Gavin said that one day he was out of petrol in the Lake District in England. He said he had “maxed out our credit cards, used all our funds” and rang the Cork city manager to ask: “Are you gong to pay for my petrol to get me to London to finish this garden, who’s going to pay the lads’ wages?”
That night, Mr Gavin said his office contacted him and said funds were going to flow.
Mr Gavin is no longer involved in the Cork project, under which the city council plans to install the Sky Garden in Fitzgerald Park and renovate other sections of the park. It is hoped to have the garden complete by the middle of this year.
It also emerged that it is costing the city council €6,000 per month to store and maintain the trees and plants that will form part of the Sky Garden.
Mr Gavin’s UK firm has declined to comment on the accounts.
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