O’Brien creditors unlikely to be repaid

CREDITORS of an insolvent taxi firm owned by rogue financier Breifne O’Brien have been told that they are unlikely to receive any money owed to them.

A liquidator was appointed to Blackrock Cabs yesterday at a meeting of creditors in a Dublin hotel.

Creditors also learned that O’Brien and his wife, Fiona Nagle, are claiming they were still owed around €300,000 in director’s loans to the company.

The couple resigned as directors of the firm, which employed five staff, last year after the Cork-born socialite was exposed as the operator of an alleged pyramid scheme. Neither O’Brien nor his wife were present at the meeting.

Alan Fitzpatrick of Alan Fitzpatrick & Co of Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare, was appointed liquidator to the firm after a meeting which lasted just 15 minutes.

Among the creditors are the Revenue Commissioners, who are owed €77,000.

Dublin City Sheriff, John Fitzpatrick, who had the shareholding in Blackrock Cabs transferred to him by court order, said the firm was “hopelessly insolvent”.

“You couldn’t give it away,” he told reporters.

Potential buyers who had offered up to €50,000 to buy the firm are understood to have backed off after learning of the firm’s substantial debts.

The sheriff also acquired shareholdings held by O’Brien in several other companies including Independent News & Media, AIB, Merrion Pharmaceuticals and CRH.

Mr Fitzpatrick has also seized a number of the financier’s assets including an Aston Martin car and some small art works.

O’Brien agreed last year to a High Court order preventing him from reducing his assets in the Republic below €18 million after investors in schemes operated by O’Brien claimed that he had misappropriated €15m in funds. He was also ordered to repay a total of €15m to former clients, including almost €2m to his brother-in-law by the High Court.

Ms Nagle, who ran her own PR and event management company, provoked public outrage when she attempted to seek permission from the High Court to withdraw €4,000 per week to pay household bills.

O’Brien, aged 48, who now has an address in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, has admitted that he was “living a lie” for up to 15 years over the manner in which he operated an alleged pyramid investment scheme to fund his personal lifestyle.

Many of the people who invested large sums of their life savings included close personal friends and former schoolmates of O’Brien.

A High Court judge described the investors as “victims of a confidence trick that was not very sophisticated but highly successful”.

O’Brien is the older brother of TV sports presenter Daire O’Brien and a nephew of the late member of The Dixies, Brendan O’Brien.

He is also the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.

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