Northern Ireland

Irish tax chiefs in unprecedented challenge to NI bankruptcy ruling

Belfast High Court
Image caption Press were excluded from a hearing at Belfast High Court last week, due to objections raised by Mr Kane

A car dealer from the Republic of Ireland is facing an unprecedented attempt to overturn his bankruptcy status in Northern Ireland.

John Alex Kane, from County Longford, is said to have owed nearly five million euros (£4m) in unpaid taxes.

It is believed to be the first time the Office of the Irish Revenue Commissioners has sought to annul a bankruptcy secured outside its borders.

The case is understood to hinge on whether he lives and works in NI.

Under UK insolvency law the period of bankruptcy typically lasts for a year, but in the Republic of Ireland, a much more onerous term of up to 12 years applies.

The motor trader, who has had an address at Granard, County Longford, was declared bankrupt in Belfast in June.

However, lawyers acting for the Irish Revenue Commissioners brought a challenge to the validity of the bankruptcy order made against Mr Kane and a further court order, rescinding the earlier determination, was made at the High Court in Belfast last week.

Further proceedings will now take place in January in an effort to reach a final resolution.

Press were excluded from a hearing in Belfast last week due to objections raised by Mr Kane.

A Courts' Service spokeswoman confirmed on Monday, however, that a rescind order was made.

With proceedings still active, the case was adjourned until 28 January.