ONE of Limerickâ€™s oldest and best-loved fashion houses â€“ JRâ€™s â€“ has closed for business after 30 years in operation.
Creditorsâ€™ meetings for two Limerick based companies operated by owner Jerry Relihan and his wife Sandra will be held next week.
Formerly known as JR Fashions, the ladies boutqiue began its life in the Crescent Shopping Centre, and moved to a new premises at 53 Thomas Street in recent years.
However, a notice on the door of the store this week informed customers that it is closed pending an upcoming creditorsâ€™ meetings.
Speaking to the Leader, Mrs Lehihan wished to thank all their customers for their loyal support over the years.
â€œWe wouldnâ€™t have survived that long without them. Itâ€™s a sad time for all of us,â€ she said.
Mrs Relihan could not comment on the reasons the store has been forced to close, except to say: â€œTimes are the way they are.â€
Model agent Celia Holman Lee said she was â€œsaddened beyond beliefâ€ to hear of the closure. â€œThey were trailbrazers in the fashion industry in the country and in Limerick.
â€œItâ€™s a sad day for the fashion industry in Limerick. Jerry is a great guy, an honest guy. I worked with him for years and heâ€™s one of the nicest guys in the industry.
â€œHeâ€™s not the first to close, and wonâ€™t be the last with the way things are. Everyone was hanging on for Christmas, but itâ€™s not a good time for business in Limerick.
â€œEveryone is saying the rates are crippling them and so many businesses have gone. Surely thereâ€™s a message there,â€ she said.
Ms Holman Lee said Mr Relihan should be commended to making the brave move to transfer the store into the city, as he had â€œgreat faith in the city.
â€œIâ€™ve been all around the country and businesses going back 30, 40 years are telling me theyâ€™ve never seen it so bad.â€
The creditorsâ€™ meetings are due to be held at Rackett Hall Hotel in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, on Monday, March 14 next at 2pm.
The most recent abridged accounts for the company, for the year ending February 2010, showed it owed creditors nearly â‚¬1m at that point.
The company - Relihanâ€™s (The Crescent) Ltd â€“ made an operating loss of over â‚¬280,000 by the end of that year, with its net assets more than halving on the previous year.
A creditorsâ€™ meeting has also been called for JSR (Limerick) Holdings for the same date, at the earlier time of 12.30pm.
Meanwhile, Birthdays card store on Oâ€™Connell Street closed down this week, following an appointment by the High Court to put the chain Birthdays (Ireland) Ltd in liquidation.