A BIN company boss who owes cash-strapped Donegal County Council €320,000 has been given yet another chance to comply with a court order handed down last month.
In early February, Judge Paul Kelly gave Jim Ferry (56), of Rossbracken, Letterkenny, seven days to comply with a court order forcing him to provide details of his income. He made that order after Ferry failed to turn up in court in January.
Ferry, of Ferry’s Refuse Limited, is being pursued by the council for non-payment of €320,000 in fees. The debt is outstanding since 2010 and is personally owed by him.
He was back before Wednesday’s sitting of Letterkenny District Court, however, council solicitor, Ms Lisa Finnegan, told Judge Kelly that Ferry had yet again failed to comply with a court order to supply a statement of means.
Ms Finnegan pointed out that another order had been made at the last sitting, forcing Ferry to comply with the previous order within seven days.
“I received an email on February 7, after the seven day period had expired. It (the email) is entirely inadequate and insufficient as there are a number of liabilities,” she explained.
Ms Finnegan said an Ulster Bank statement was only relevant to December 2014 and that she was looking for details of all Ferry’s personal and business accounts as well as his assets. She also demanded to know the links between Ferry’s Refuse Recycling Ltd and Ferry’s Refuse Ltd, both of which have an address at Rossbracken, Manorcunningham.
“I cannot cross-examine Mr Ferry as I do not have the adequate information. His list of debts does not include the €39,000 he owes Donegal County Council after being convicted of illegal dumping. That’s a glaring error in his statement.”
Defence solicitor, Mr Kevin McElhinney, told Judge Kelly the matter was only brought to his attention on the morning of the court by Mr Ferry’s Dublin-based firm of solicitors – Ferry’s Solicitors.
Judge Kelly pointed out the matter had been before the court for a considerable time.
“There is no rocket science involved in compiling a statement of means. What he has furnished to date is entirely inadequate,” he said.
However, Judge Kelly said he had sympathy with Mr McElhinney, telling him: “You’re in an unenviable position of being his agent.”
He had no such sympathy for Ferry’s Solicitors, saying they “have a lot to answer for.” Judge Kelly said he was of the view that Ferry was showing a “complete lack of co-operation.”
Judge Kelly ordered that Ferry produce all bank statements from January 1, 2013, to February 28, 2015, to be filed within 21 days of Wednesday’s court.
He also ordered him to produce statements for both Ferry’s Refuse Recycling Ltd and Ferry’s Refuse Ltd and to disclose details of the “relationship” between both companies.
Ms Finnegan added that Ferry should disclose all his assets, including a Danske Bank mortgage and a farm and property at Upper Derryreel, Falcarragh, and at Slieve Sneacht, Letterkenny.
Judge Kelly concluded by telling Mr McElhinney: “Ask your principles to remind the defendant of the laws of contempt of court. The defendant is seeking the protection of the court, so he needs to be up front with the court.”
He adjourned the matter to the April 1, sitting of the court.
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