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Monday 24 July 2017

Bankrupt promoter avoids prison time over Rosenstock debt

Darryl Downey
Darryl Downey

An events promoter has avoided the threat of being jailed over a €250,000 debt to comedian Mario Rosenstock after being declared bankrupt.

Dublin District Court heard that concert and events promoter Darryl Downey owed the money to Blue Elf Inc Ltd, a company owned by mimic Rosenstock.

However, he was unable to keep up with a repayments schedule ordered by the court.

Rosenstock's firm had tried to have Downey jailed as a result of the arrears and a judge had previously warned the promoter he had a draft warrant for arrest and committal on file.

Yesterday, however, his barrister Tessa White told Judge Michael Coghlan that, since the case was last before the court in March, Downey has been declared bankrupt and his creditors have been notified.

Judge Coghlan said for that reason he could make no order in relation to the matter.

The debt related to a number of live shows going back to 2012, as a result of which about €750,000 was owed to Blue Elf.

Some €500,000 was paid, but Downey said he did not have the funds to pay the rest.

Failed

At a previous hearing, in December, Judge Coghlan said Downey was a "failed promoter" and he adjourned the case "to enable him to get a job, any job", which pays a "normal weekly wage".

On March 14, Judge Coghlan had again warned Downey that he has a duty to enforce the matter.

Ms White explained that he had been applying for jobs and had found part-time work earning €250 a week.

Rosenstock, who rose to fame with his Gift Grub sketches on Today FM and now has a successful show on RTE, was not present when the case resumed this week.

The court heard Downey had been a self-employed concert and events promoter since 2003.

His company, Jarash Ltd, had about €28,000 but his counsel explained those funds were needed to get shows off the ground, the court heard earlier.

Yesterday, the judge was told Downey has resigned as its director.

Downey has also claimed that he was led to believe by his accountant that he was due to receive a €200,000 VAT refund, but that did not materialise.

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