“Great lifestyle” contractor fined for failing to repay €45k pension debt in time

A painting contractor who employed up to 20 people at the height of his dealings, was fined €1,000 in the District Court this week (September 5 ) for failing to repay €45,000 to an employee pension scheme.

Paddy Mulligan (50 ), with an address at College Park, Athlone had originally been ordered to repay €89,000 by the Labour Court in October 2008, but had this reduced to €45,000 after negotiations with Construction Industry Monitoring Agency (CIMA ), a joint TUI/IBEC body set up to monitor employee rights, in March 2010.

In court this week his solicitor, Mr Dara Hayden, admitted Mulligan had repaid just €4,000 since this agreement was made.

“He didn’t know he was obliged [to make these payments]... and he’s very embarrassed by the situation,” said Mr Hayden, who submitted an up-to-date statement of means from his client. He also told the court how his client was still owed €400,000 in outstanding debt.

A solicitor for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment said that though she didn’t dispute this new statement, she pointed out how Mulligan also had “€270,000 adjudicated against him by the Revenue”.

“He must’ve had a great lifestyle, but then maybe he put all his money in AIB shares,” mused Judge Seamus Hughes.

“He says he didn’t know, but he did, and it was his greed that left his former employees in jeopardy. If some of them got sick or injured now they’d only get the statutory minimum,” he pointed out before issuing the fine, and giving Mulligan three months to pay.

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