Windfarm developer gets order to stop wind farm being wound up

By Ann O'Loughlin

A windfarm developer has secured a temporary High Court order preventing a quarrying company from bringing a petition seeking to have the windfarm wound up over what a judge was told is a disputed debt.

Today, Ms Justice Caroline Costello said Derrysallagh Windfarm Ltd was entitled to an interim injunction restraining Hillstreet Quarries Ltd from presenting or advertising a petition seeking to have Derrysallagh wound up over an alleged debt of €80,000.

Seeking the order Patrick Leonard SC, said his client is the developer of a wind farm at Glen, Knockroe, Derrysallagh and Rover in Co Sligo.

The lands on which it is developing the centre are leased from Hillstreet Quarries Ltd.

Counsel said the dispute centres over the storage of 33 large cable drums worth €500,000 at Hillstreet's site, which were to be used on the wind farm, between February and November 2017.

When a contractor hired by Derrysallagh to relocate the drums tried to move them the defendant send it an invoice seeking payment for storage.

File photo of a wind farm.

Counsel said Derrysallagh told Hillstreet that any issue concerning the storage of the cable was between the defendant at the civil engineering contractor that had been hired by Derrysallagh to carry out works on the wind farm.

That contractor, which has since gone into examinership, had responsibility for the cable on the site, counsel said. Derrysallagh does not owe the defendant money for the storage of the cable.

Following correspondence between the parties, the defendant brought a petition seeking to wind up Derrsallagh, which counsel said would have a very serious effect on his client.

The petition counsel said was an improper attempt to get money from Derrysallagh.

In addition, counsel said that Hillstreet and companies related to Derrysallagh have been involved in other disputes that have come before the courts.

Following the application, which was made on an ex parte basis, the Judge said Derrysallagh was entitled to the orders sought.

The Judge said that winding up petitions should not be used as a form of debt collection, and this was a case where clearly the debt is disputed.

The Judge said evidence had been put before the court in relation to Derrysallagh's ability to pay its debts, and the judge said she noted its claim of the catastrophic effect the issuing of a petition would have on Derrysallagh.

The judge adjourned the matter for a week.


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