Job losses in Limerick as liquidator appointed to travel firm

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Email:

nick@limerickleader.ie

Job losses in Limerick as liquidator appointed to travel firm

Usit is located at 51 O'Connell Street

THERE is bad news on the jobs front this Saturday as a student travel agency was placed into liquidation by the courts.

Usit, which has a Limerick operation at 51 O’Connell Street, has ceased trading, with the coronavirus crisis playing a big role in its collapse.

Seventy-six people nationwide work for the student travel agency, but it’s not known how many of these are based in Limerick.

The High Court was yesterday told that many spring and summer travel bookings as well as tours for students and school groups have been cancelled and new bookings have collapsed.

Kieran Wallace and Andrew Wallace of KPMG have been put in charge of the Kinlay Group, which was the parent company of Usit.

David Andrews, the chairman of Kinlay Group, placed the blame squarely at the feet of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “Only a short few weeks ago, both USIT and the English School were trading well and we had exciting plans for the future, but the tsunami of effects related to the Covid-19 pandemic have left us with no business whatsoever and no possibility of overcoming these challenges. We have working tirelessly for the last few weeks to find a solution to save these businesses and in that regard I wish to acknowledge the support of our bankers, Ulster Bank Limited. I and my fellow directors greatly regret having to take this step, but unfortunately, it was the only possible option at this time. We are committed to working closely with the liquidator now in order to get the best possible outcome for employees and customers.”

Elaine Russell, Usit’s chief executive, added: “This is a very difficult day for our talented and passionate teams all of whom work so hard to create great experiences for our customers. The team and I are truly devasted at the impact this closure will have on all our customers who were either looking forward to trips they had booked for later this year with USIT or learning English with us at the English Studio.”

Customers who had bookings with Usit are being asked to monitor www.usit.ie for developments in the coming days.

Meanwhile, another store has closed down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Woodies DIY at the Ennis Road has temporarily shut its doors in order to protect its customers and staff.