Director makes ‘difficult call’ to shut Limerick company due to bad debts

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

THE MANAGING director of a County Limerick company which once had an annual turnover of €2.5 million and employed 50 people at its peak says they were left with no option but to close the company due to bad debts.

THE MANAGING director of a County Limerick company which once had an annual turnover of €2.5 million and employed 50 people at its peak says they were left with no option but to close the company due to bad debts.

“It is a really difficult call to make and I know there are suppliers out there that are going to be affected by this, but we kept going for as long as we could, hoping that we would be able to find our way out of this in these times we are in,” said Jim Duffy, managing director of Tucon Process Installations Ltd.

The company, which had been designing, fabricating, and installing high-spec process pipework in stainless steel since 2000 from its base at Ballybricken, Grange ceased operation on April 18 with the loss of 16 jobs.

The company specialised in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries catering for clients both in Ireland and the UK.

The company worked on projects for companies including Cuisine de France and their customers included Pepsi Cola, Irish Cement and Diageo Baileys Global Supply.

“We have been in business for 12 years. We built it up from nothing really to a company that was well established in the industry. It is unfortunate because of a couple of bad debts etc that we found ourselves in this situation. We were left with no option,” continued Mr Duffy who is from Clarina.

“We had employed 50 at one time but that would have been for a short period. We had usually between 20 and 25 employees,” he explained.According to sources annual turnover for the company has been in the region of €2.5 million per annum.

In the region of €500,000 is now owed to approximately 60 trade creditors in the engineering businesses nationwide.

The company, meanwhile, is understood to be owed approximately €200,000 from approximately 20 debtors – many of which are Limerick-based.

Company files show that the company had a deficit of €288,000 in February 2011.

The current deficit according to sources is over €500,000.

A creditors meeting in relation to the company took place in the city last Friday.

“With these creditors’ meetings you have a bunch of creditors allegedly annoyed over being owed money which of course is true and you have a long suffering director who has been doing his best to keep the show on the road. But the elephant in the room is the recession. But for that neither side would be there,” said Tony Fitzpatrick, a chartered accountant with Fitzpatrick and O’Dwyer Company, who is the directors’ nominee as liquidator.

Local councillor Brigid Teefy who lives in Ballybricken, described the closure of the company as “a sad day” for the area.

“Every job loss is a huge loss. In rural areas like this you don’t have that many industries or employers. It’s obviously very sad to see any business going like that because it was established there for some time,” she said.