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Bank-appointed receiver seeks possession of McElhinneys

Saturday, 14th December, 2013 2:50pm

Story by John Donohoe
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Bank-appointed receiver seeks possession of McElhinneys
Bank-appointed receiver seeks possession of McElhinneys

The case taken by a receiver appointed to McElhinneys of Athboy has been adjourned to next Wednesday in the High Court. Barry Forrest was appointed by Bank of Ireland last March as receiver over McElhinneys department store, McElhinneys bridal shop and a property known as Guinans, all on Main Street, Athboy.

He was appointed after the owners of the properties, various members of the Sweeney family, failed to repay loans totally €2.34 million.

Mr Forrest had initiated proceedings seeking injunctions granting him possession and entry to the properties after being allegedly denied entry. Neal Sweeney, general manager of the stores, has brought proceedings challenging the validity of the receiver’s appointment.

When the matter came before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan in the High Court this week, he was told a firm of solicitors had only come on record for the company and Neal Sweeney. The lawyers said their clients have a bona fide defence to the receiver’s claims but they needed time to deal with the case.

Lawyers for the receivers had asked that the application for the injunctions proceed, arguing the matter was urgent. Should the receiver get the injunctions, he was prepared to enter an agreement allowing the company to continue to trade on the premises during the Christmas period.

Adjourning the matter for a week, the judge said he accepted the defendants’ lawyers needed time to consider matters but he was also satisfied the defendants were aware of the proceedings for some time.

Neal Sweeney had told the court that the jobs of 40 staff in the 78 year-old business were at risk if the receiver was granted possession of the properties.

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