WASTE firm Mr Binman owed Limerick County Council more than €2m when it went into examinership, new documents have shown.
The Luddenmore-based company was taken over two weeks ago after spending almost six months in receivership.
In an affidavit to the High Court, the former head of finance at Limerick County Council Oliver Killeen revealed the firm owed some €2,284096.17 to the local authority.
The vast majority of this – €2.25m – was owed in connection with Mr Binman’s use of the council’s dumping facility in Gortnadroma.
A further €4,532 was owing in connection with the disposal of effluent at a waste water plant also operated by Limerick County Council.
Having gained permission through a subsidiary company, Greenport Environmental to construct a new waste-to-energy facility in Foynes, Mr Binman also owed €11,983 of rates for this facility – which is as yet undeveloped, and a further €14,680 in commercial rates for its main facility in Luddenmore.
Mr Binman – which employed 331 people directly – also owed some €1.8m to the Revenue commissioners, who were quick to criticise this bill.
However, Mr Killeen said the council were keen to support Mr Binman’s application to go into examinership - and secure the protection of the courts.
“The council is extremely anxious to support all measures that will preserve employment in its administrative area and the areas immediately adjacent to it.
“Mr Binman group employs 331 people directly, with a large number of others, estimated to be 200, who are wholly dependent on independent contracts with the employer. The South West region, and in particular, Limerick has been severely affected by the recession and the Council is supportive of all measures that will prevent further unemployment,” the affidavit read.
Ultimately, the application for examinership was rejected, and a receiver was instead appointed.
Company founder Martin Sheahan had warned the court against this move, stating there would be “serious difficulties” in sourcing an alternative provider for Mr Binman’s 56,000 customers across the region.
Two weeks ago, a consortium led by Tralee-based firm Dillon Waste and Recycling purchased Mr Binman’s operations in Limerick, Kerry, Clare, Cork and Galway.
The figure paid is estimated to be around €4.5m.
The new owner has not yet outlined how many jobs will be preserved at the company, only confirming the Mr Binman brand name would remain intact.