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Shane Phelan and Cormac McQuinn, Irish Independent – 05 October 2013
A BUSINESSMAN behind luxury yacht rental, internet, and wedding function companies has been hit with the third-highest ever Revenue Commissioners judgment.
Godfrey Lalor (50) – better known as Goff Lalor – will appear in Monday's edition of 'Stubbs Gazette' after the Revenue registered a €7.2m judgment against him earlier this week.
The Tipperary-born businessman, who has invested in dozens of companies over the past three decades, said he was unable to comment in detail on the judgment.
When contacted by the Irish Independent, he initially said he was unaware of any significant judgments against him.
But later he said: "My accountant has been in discussion with the Revenue over an estimated tax liability."
Mr Lalor's Revenue bill is the third-highest judgment ever registered by the tax authority.
Leixlip builder Anthony Cafferkey had a €21.6m judgment registered against him last year, while the second highest judgment, for €7.6m, was against Dublin-based bin truck company founder Alan Kershaw in 2011.
A Revenue spokeswoman declined to comment on the judgment against Mr Lalor.
A former property developer, Mr Lalor is based in Shankill, Co Dublin, and California, where he is a partner in an internet firm in San Jose.
The company, Punchlime, seeks investment cash to help fund start-up IT firms.
A former pupil of St Columba's College boarding school in Rathfarnham, Dublin, he has been involved in various businesses since leaving school aged 17.
He is a director of a company that rents out luxury yachts and the co-owner of Rosedale House in Shankill, a spectacular country house which is rented out for weddings and other social events.
He has also been involved in the Garrylough Mill complex in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, which he sought to turn into a 'glamping' – or glamorous camping – resort.
Mr Lalor also invested in restaurateur Jay Bourke's Shebeen Chic pub in Dublin.
He was previously slapped down by the Central Bank over his Goff Private Equity (GPE) firm, which the regulator said was "not authorised as an investment firm".
Mr Lalor said the company never traded.
He also hit headlines earlier this year when one of his companies, Berncastle Ltd, was ordered to pay €50,000 to its former marketing manager for unfair dismissal.
Christina Goldston was made redundant as marketing director after two years with the company.
She claimed she was unfairly dismissed for claiming time off in lieu and for challenging Mr Lalor on issues such as not paying suppliers of Rosedale House on time, the lack of a bar licence, and the lack of planning permission.
Legal counsel for Mr Lalor denied there had been any issue with paying suppliers, although he accepted that invoices were occasionally questioned.
Mr Lalor's legal representative also said he did not need a bar licence at Rosedale House as it was a private house.
The tribunal heard that Rosedale House was Mr Lalor's family home and he had started using it as a venue for functions in 2007.