Hynes cousins to accept whatever liquidation disqualifications imposed, court hears

Frank Hynes, who joined the hearing for part of Wednesday by audio link, said he is seriously ill and wants the case to be over.
Hynes cousins to accept whatever liquidation disqualifications imposed, court hears

Businessman, Alan Hynes and his cousin, Frank Hynes will accept any disqualifications the High Court may impose, they have told a judge.

The two are the subject of court applications by a liquidator seeking disqualification/restriction from directorships as well as return of assets from liquidated companies connected with the Tuskar group.

The court also heard evidence from Frank's sister, Fiona Hynes, that her shares in one of the companies were transferred to another firm without her knowledge or her consent at a meeting she was not at because she was abroad on holiday at the time.

Myles Kirby told the court that Alan Hynes, who had previously been disqualified as a director, sought at all times to completely deny any order made against him and had an insistence on blaming others who had absolutely nothing to do with the case for wrongdoing.

Mr Kirby is liquidator of Tuskar Property Holdings (TPH) whose directors and owners were Alan Hynes and his wife, Noreen Hynes until 2009 when it became wholly owned by Dr Adrian O'Reilly, who is also a respondent in the case, and Alan Hynes' brother-in-law. Mrs Hynes is not a respondent.

Mr Kirby is also liquidator of Hynes Jewellers (Wexford) Ltd and JW Fashions Ltd (JWF).

He said there were hundreds of communications, mainly by email, from Alan, who also answered on behalf of Frank, which were generally evasive of the questions put to both men.

He believed Alan and Frank Hynes, along with a third man, Dr O'Reilly, based in Cambridge, England, were all culpable for the wrongdoing, with Frank’s wife, Martina Hynes culpable to a lesser extent. Alan acted as a shadow director of the companies throughout, he said.

Mr Kirby is asking the court to order that assets that were allegedly transferred out of three related companies be returned.

Mr Kirby is also seeking orders that the officers of the company bear personal liability in relation to the companies in which he says adequate accounting records were not kept. He is also asking the court to assess damages against certain individuals.

'Take it on the chin'

Along with Alan Hynes, Dr O'Reilly, and Frank Hynes, who was a director of HJW and JWF, the other respondent is Martina Hynes, who co-owned certain assets. A fifth respondent is Tuskar Investment Group Ltd (TIG) which is 100 per cent owned by Dr O'Reilly.

Only Alan and Frank made appearances before the court, both remotely.

Frank, who joined the hearing for part of Wednesday by audio link, said he is seriously ill and wants the case to be over. He will consent to whatever disqualification orders the court decides, and he would “take it on the chin”.

He said before leaving the link: “I just want this sorry tale over with because really it is just killing me and killing my family and I physically feel sick, I am going to have to go”.

Alan Hynes, who joined by video link, also indicated he was not opposed to any disqualification order but wanted to reach a settlement with the liquidator about the amount of money owed.

By Wednesday afternoon, Alan had not rejoined, but emailed the liquidator saying he wanted to see a document which would address the liquidator's concerns before he signed it and would not be seeking to cross-examine any witnesses.

The hearing went ahead in the absence of all the respondents.

Fiona Hynes, who told the court she was now "totally alienated from her brother Frank by what had happened, was a director of HJW and JWF and a shareholder in HJW. She said she was totally shocked to learn in 2018 that her shares in HJW had been misappropriated to TPH.

She had also been made a director of JWF without her knowledge and was shocked to find her signature, which was not hers, on its accounts. She never attended any meetings in relation to JWF, she said.

Whenever she raised matters with Frank, he told her Alan was "in charge of everything" and was the one dealing with matters. She said at the time she was happy because Frank had told her so.

Colm Sugrue, a former director of TPH, told the court he was completely unaware of company accounts filed in his name, which he never signed, until it was brought to his attention by the liquidator. He has since made complaints to the Companies Office, the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the garda fraud squad, he said.

The case continues before Mr Justice Michael Quinn.

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