The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have claimed a corporate casualty with the loss of over 30 jobs at a construction and plant hire business, the High Court has heard.
Ms Justice Teresa Pilkington this afternoon appointed Chartered Accountant Mr Anthony Fitzpatrick as provisional liquidation to Brandon Plant Hire Ltd, after being told the company was insolvent to the tune of €934,000.
The company, which is currently involved in three projects, is involved the plant hire business and the provision of substructures and groundworks on building sites.
The company's members petitioned the court for the provisional liquidator's appointment, so that its assets will be secured and their proceeds properly distributed to the Trim, Co Meath-based firm's creditors.
At the High Court Ronnie Hudson Bl, instructed by solicitor John Kieran, for the company said the firm had been profitable for many years since it was founded in 1997, and was involved in several major house building projects.
Counsel said that the company had been experiencing cash flow difficulties including issues concerning payments from Cairn Homes, whom it has acted as a subcontractor for on various projects.
It had also encountered difficulties regarding complying with Irish Water's regualtions at a site it had been working on.
Despite these various issues the company had looked to an investor to help it continue to trade.
Counsel said that because of Covid-19 the investor was no longer interested in putting money into the firm rendering the firm insolvent and unable to trade.
Other factors which contributed to the company's difficulties included extra costs involved in having to hire additional workers on projects and the bad weather in late 2019 and early 2020.
Counsel said that the firm's employees are all currently on Covid-19 protection notice.
Counsel said there was urgency to the application as the company was concerned about the dissipation of assets, and that creditors have been calling to its sites and telephoning its premises.
Counsel said that the company's directors had been put under intense pressure and had threatened by creditors involved with work Brandon had been doing at a site in Dundalk, Co Louth.
Some of these creditors had threatened to damage some of the work's in progress counsel said.
Should that occur, Mr Hudson said, the prospects of creditors recovering monies they are owed would be further depleted.
The firm's assets include tools, piping, JCB diggers and dumpers and excavation equipment.
The appointment of a provisional liquidator would ensure that the firm's assets would be secured, and one creditor will not be able to obtain an advantage over another
Ms Justice Pilkington, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic had certainly exasperated the firm's problems, said she was satisfied to appoint Mr Fitzpatrick as the company's provisional liquidator.
The judge after granting Mr Fitzpatrick various powers, including the power to take possession of the firm's assets, adjourned the matter to a date next month.