Northern Ireland

Ballymena brothers banned as company directors

Two brothers who owned a Ballymena hotel company which went bust with debts of over £1m have been banned from acting as company directors for eight years.

Gerard and Joseph McLarnon ran MCL Investments (NI), a company which operated the Leighinmohr House Hotel in Ballymena.

The hotel remains open and is being run by an unrelated company.

MCL Investments (NI) was placed into administration in June 2009.

At that time it had assets of £253,000 but owed its bank around £500,000 while unsecured creditors were owed almost £1m.

A Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment investigation found that the brothers effectively financed the hotel by not paying tax.

In total they owed £625,000 in tax, including unpaid VAT of £225,000.

The investigation found they also misused company funds by lending themselves and related parties £484,000.

Gerard McLarnon's address was given as Galgorm Road, Ballymena, while Joseph McLarnon's address was given as Hervey Hill Road, Kilrea.

Gerard McLarnon was declared bankrupt in October 2009 while Joseph McLarnon was declared bankrupt in November 2010.

Meanwhile, a husband and wife from Derrylin in County Fermanagh have been banned from acting as directors for seven years after their construction business failed with debts of over £4m.

Gerard and Carina McManus were the directors of Gerry McManus Plant Hire Ltd which traded at Molly Road, Derrygurdy.

It went into liquidation on 15 December 2008 with estimated assets of £1,322,000 and liabilities of more than £5m - most of which was owed to unsecured creditors.