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Saturday 22 July 2017

Lily-Mae charity a priority case, says HMV's receiver

Caroline Crawford and Barry Duggan

THE family of a four-year-old cancer sufferer are hoping they can recover €27,000 from troubled retailer HMV after the receiver said he would make their charity a priority case.

Lily-Mae Morrison, from Claregalway, Co Galway, has a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and a cover of Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer' raised thousands of euro to help her family when it rode high in the charts over Christmas.

Efforts are continuing to secure the money owed from CD sales from HMV, which temporarily closed its Irish shops this week after going into administration in the UK.

The move came as a sit-in continued last night at two of the chain's Limerick stores, where staff are seeking to secure wages owed to them, including holiday pay and money earned over Christmas.

HMV receiver David Carson has contacted the producer of Lily-Mae's single, Stephen Macken, to say he would prioritise the charity.

"He said he was acutely aware of our situation and would prioritise it," said Mr Macken, who stressed that the success of the CD would not have been possible without the help of HMV and its staff. "There are no bad guys in this, it's all just dreadfully unfortunate," he said.

Golden Discs has offered to help by restocking the CD and making a donation, believed to be around €5,000, to cover some of what is owed by HMV.

All 16 HMV outlets in Ireland will remain closed during the receivership process.

In Limerick, up to 30 workers locked themselves into two HMV stores for a second night after they failed to get a guarantee that their wages would be paid.

The 300 former staff in the 14 Irish HMV stores were last paid on December 21. Four weeks' pay, overtime and days in lieu are owed.

At the HMV Crescent shop, workers are sleeping in a store room. Stephen Bond (31) is married with one child, and is expecting another. "I rent a home and it is in jeopardy," he said. "We are sleeping wherever we can – in and around the stockroom on boxes. It was very cold last night."

Irish Independent

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