'Failed promoter' told to 'get a job, any job' to pay comic Mario €250k
A judge has warned a "failed promoter" he could be sent to prison if he does not get a "normal" job to pay back a debt of about €250,000 to comedian Mario Rosenstock.
Dublin District Court heard yesterday that concert and events promoter Darryl Downey owed money to Blue Elf, the company owned by Mr Rosenstock, which is looking to have Downey jailed as a result of arrears.
Mr Rosenstock, who rose to fame with his Gift Grub sketches on Today FM and now has a successful show on RTE, was not present for the hearing.
Judge Michael Coghlan said Downey is a "failed promoter" and he was putting the case back until February "to enable him to get a job, any job".
"If I hear he is continuing to hope for the next big deal I will run out of patience," he said, adding that he wanted to hear that Downey gets a job "that pays a normal weekly wage".
The debt is the subject of a High Court judgement and, in January, the District Court granted a variation on the instalment order, reducing the monthly repayment from €5,000 to €1,500.
However, Jane Linnane, counsel for Blue Elf, told the judge that since January there has been a total of just €5,400 paid to her client.
She said only €900 had been paid since September, while during the same period Downey made payments to another creditor who was not the subject of a judgement.
Ms Linnane said this money should have gone to her client, adding that in September Downey went to America and spent about €11,000.
Ms Linnane said Blue Elf and the court's orders have been continuously ignored and it was in those circumstances that a committal warrant was being sought.
Giving evidence, Downey said he cannot afford to pay any more. The court heard he had been a self-employed concert and events promoter since 2003, but is currently out of work.
He said the case 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 over, but he said he does not presently have the funds to pay the rest.
His company Jarash has about €28,000 but his counsel, Tessa White, said that was needed to get shows off the ground.
Downey said that, since the instalment order was made, he has had to borrow €4,000 from his mother.
He added he was not in a position to pay back €1,500 a month and that he had just €4 in his personal account, €1 in a business account, €10 in his pocket and a €28,000 overdraft.
The judge noted that the matter has been before him on a number of occasions and said Downey's credibility was very poor, and he had come to the conclusion he has not given full information.