Last year 1,570 Irish companies went into liquidation, receivership or examinership, up 108% on 2008, according to figures from financial advisory firm FGS.
It said that of concern is that there was no apparent slowdown in the rate of failures as 435, or 28%, of the failures occurred in the final three months of last year.
The figures show that 593, or 37%, of all failures occurred in the construction sector. There were more failures recorded within this sector in 2009 than had taken place in the previous three years combined.
Partner with FGS, Declan Taite, said it is difficult to see any significant reduction in the number of failures in the construction industry in 2010. The failures in the construction sector are generally small to medium-sized developers and/or sub-contractors.
“The ongoing reduction in house prices, significant decline in the numbers of new units being built, uncertainty regarding the availability of credit for small- to medium-type developers, and the likely decrease in the number of people working in the sector, all indicate that much uncertainty is likely to prevail in the short term,” said Mr Taite.
Dublin unsurprisingly accounts for the majority of failures last year with 679 (43%) taking place in the capital compared to 173 in 2007 and 333 in 2008.
There were 144 failures in Cork last year compared with 53 in 2008. The only county to record a decrease in failures, nine in 2008 as opposed to five in 2008, was Leitrim.
There was a significant increase in failures in the hospitality sector where 214 firms collapsed, or 14% of the total, compared with 109 failures in the sector in the same period in 2008.
There were 144 failures in the retail sector, of which 52 were recorded in the clothing retail area. The motor industry experienced a four fold increase in failures from 25 in 2008 to 101 in 2009.
A significant increase in the number of receiverships was recorded in 2009 when compared with the previous 12 months. Last year receivers were appointed to 169 businesses as opposed to a 57 in the same period in 2008. This represents a significant 196% increase.
Ninety-two companies had examiners in 2009 as opposed to 70 in the previous 12 months.