MORE than 550 jobs are at risk after house and garden chain Homebase Ireland went into examinership.
The High Court appointed an examiner to the business this morning as the company struggles with the collapse in the retail market.
Homebase has 15 stores in Ireland and employs some 558 people.
In a statement, Homebase Ireland said it was looking at closing three stores for now: Fonthill in Dublin, Carlow and Castlebar, in Co Mayo. Those stores employs 17 full-time and 79 part-time staff.
The future of the other 12 stores depends on landlords' willingness to renegotiate lease terms, Homebase added.
The company said sales have fallen by almost a third since 2009 and has not made a profit in five years, mainly due to the collapse in the housing market and lower spending on repairs and improvements.
It has also blamed "upward only" rent reviews for its inability to reduce its operating costs.