Judge says he will not trawl over 15 years of events in contempt-of-court case

A High Court judge has warned a businessman facing a contempt of court application he will not trawl over the events of the last 15 years when the case goes to hearing in three weeks.
Judge says he will not trawl over 15 years of events in contempt-of-court case
Mr Justice Michael McGrath said because of the Covid-19 restrictions, the courtroom may not be able to accommodate all witnesses involved in case at the same time.
Mr Justice Michael McGrath said because of the Covid-19 restrictions, the courtroom may not be able to accommodate all witnesses involved in case at the same time.

A High Court judge has warned a businessman facing a contempt of court application he will not trawl over the events of the last 15 years when the case goes to hearing in three weeks.

Mr Justice Michael McGrath said former car dealer John Alex Kane is entitled to bring witnesses to court as he fights his case but he said that, because of the Covid-19 restrictions, the courtroom may not be able to accommodate all those involved at the same time.

Former car dealer John Alex Kane has to answer allegations of breaching undertakings previously made before the High Court not to interfere with the work of a Revenue-appointed receiver, Myles Kirby.

The allegations relate to the former Kanes of Granard, Longford, vacant car showrooms premises. It is one of several pieces of property that the receiver, Myles Kirby of Kirby Healy Chartered Accountants, is selling in a bid to recoup a 2009 judgment for €4.97m against Mr Kane related to the non-payment of tax on car sales.

Mr Justice Michael McGrath said he had to balance the rights of the parties but the case will proceed on July 29.

Gary McCarthy, for the receiver, previously told the court the application related to an incident on June 9 last in which it is alleged Mr Kane was seen near his former showrooms in Granard, Longford, and the lock on the door was later observed to have been allegedly forced.

Mr Kane denies all allegations.

Counsel said Mr Kane was later arrested and charged in relation to the alleged incident.

Counsel said Mr Kane had previously given an undertaking to the court not to obstruct or interfere with the work of the receiver.

In court today counsel asked that the contempt-of-court proceedings be heard before the end of July and said the receiver was at a sensitive stage in relation to the sale of properties tied up in the receivership. Counsel said the "on-the-ground sinister set of activities" had to stop and that there had been "ongoing interference"  to the work of the receiver.

Counsel said there were also allegations that €25,000 in cash had been found in a cupboard and a Range Rover worth €80,000 had been driven across the border.

Mr Kane, who denied the allegations, said he had done nothing wrong and that the case, when it goes to hearing, could take two weeks. He said proceedings against him had been going on several years and interfered with his life.

"I don’t owe money," he said, adding that he had at one stage offered €2.5m to Revenue but that "one man in Revenue" would not accept it.

Mr Justice McGrath said Mr Kane was entitled to cross-examine the garda witnesses who will give evidence to the court.

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