Northern Ireland

Directors ban for ex-owners of Strangford restaurant

Strangford Lough
Image caption The restaurant is close to the shores of Strangford Lough

The former owners of the The Lobster Pot restaurant in Strangford have been banned from acting as company directors.

The business collapsed in 2008 owing its creditors more than £1m.

A Department of Enterprise probe found it had been trading while insolvent for more than three years.

Plunkett Caldwell, 58, of Banns Meadow Downpatrick accepted a six year ban. Elizabeth Caldwell, 36, of the same address, accepted a five year ban.

The Lobster Pot was one of the most successful restaurants in Northern Ireland throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

The Caldwells bought the business, which operates from the square in Strangford, in 2003.

The company went into liquidation in September 2008 leaving its creditors short of £1,241,950.

The Department of Enterprise investigation found that, as well as knowingly trading while insolvent, the Caldwells failed to file accounts and misused an Ulster Bank account by bouncing a total of 164 cheques in two years.

The Lobster Pot is still open and is being run by Botanic Inns on behalf of creditors.