Firm’s unsecured creditors ‘unlikely’ to be paid

The liquidator to building firm Tom Hayes Ltd said yesterday that it is “a little bit unlikely” that unsecured creditors owed over €2.7m will see any of their monies.

Partner at BDO Ireland, Brian McEnery was yesterday commenting on the progress of the liquidation of the Killaloe firm which collapsed in January 2011.

The firm was involved in a number of high-profile building contracts since being established in 1955, including work on the University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology, and a number of church projects including work at the Knock shrine.

Mr McEnery said that he was “happy” with how the liquidation process is progressing, adding it will probably take another 12 months.

He said that it is a “little bit unlikely” and “a stretch” that the unsecured creditors will receive any of their monies, with Mr McEnery’s most recent statement to the Companies Office showing that preferential creditors — who must be paid before any unsecured creditors — are owed €627,596.

Mr McEnery said that it was a ‘peculiar’ liquidation, pointing out that one of the items that he took control of was the Papal Cross that was erected at Green Park in Limerick for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979.

The Papal Cross was constructed by the company. Mr McEnery said that he was able to find a home for the Papal Cross at a nursing home.

In his review of the Statement of Affairs by the firm, Mr McEnery said that at the date of liquidation, the company had negative net assets of €2.8m rather than the €1.65m advised by the directors.

Mr McEnery said that the higher amount of negative net assets arose partly from property assets being worth €413,000 less than believed and creditors owed €634,000 more.

Mr McEnery said that the company’s directors “have gone beyond the call of duty in terms of assisting me”.

Mr McEnery also said that he has had to go to the High Court on a number of occasions to date in order to secure monies from debtors.

He said that he still has to realise the sale of the Hayes family home. Mr McEnery said the house being part of the business arose from the late Mr Hayes willing it to the firm. He said the house has not been inhabited for a number of years.

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