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Thursday 18 September 2014

Three hundred jobs lost as liquidator appointed to Mount Carmel Hospital

Mothers-to-be who are booked in will be transferred to other facilities

Published 24/01/2014 | 13:25

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Mount Carmel hospital

MORE than 300 people are to lose their jobs after the High Court approved the appointment of provisional liquidators to the company that owns and runs a private hospital in South County Dublin.

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Mothers to be who were booked to give birth in Dublin’s only private maternity hospital in the coming weeks are to be transferred to alternative facilities.

A spokeswoman for the liquidators Farrell Grant Sparks said there will be an “orderly wind down” and current patients in the hospital will be fully cared for in Mount Carmel.

She said women who are due to give birth in the coming days will also be cared for in Mount Carmel and will be contacted.

However, it is envisaged that obstetrics patients who are booked into Mount Carmel for maternity services” in the weeks and months ahead “will be transferred to alternative maternity hospitals.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan this afternoon appointed insolvency practitioners Declan Taite and Anne O'Dwyer as joint provisional liquidators to  Mount Carmel Medical (South Dublin Ltd) which operates the Mount Carmel Hospital in Churchtown, Dublin after being informed the company is insolvent and unable to pay its debts.

The company sought to have the company wound up after what the court heard was "a disastrous 2013" and when NAMA decided it was no longer in a position to provide working capital to the company which allowed the hospital to trade.

The Judge said he was satisfied to appoint the provisional liquidators after being informed that a plan has been put in place to protect, care and attend to the needs of the hospital's 230 patients, 60 of whom are in-patients at the private hospital.

Solicitor for the provisional liquidators  Ms Jane Marshall told the judge that looking after the hospital's patients was an "absolute priority" for her clients. The court heard that the liquidators had worked on a plan with management at the hospital  in advance of their appointment to ensure the patient's safety and well being would be in no way compromised. 

In seeking the appointment of the provisional liquidators lawyers for the company said it was seeking the appointment of the liquidators because it was hopelessly insolvent and unable to pay its debts as they fall due.

The court heard the hospital which has been in existence since 1949, but was acquired by its current owners in 2006,  has debts of more than €35m  Its main creditors include NAMA, who in 2010 acquired a loan advanced to the company by AIB.

NAMA are supporting the application to have liquidators appointed.

Andrew Fitzpatrick Bl for the company said that it had been able to trade in recent years thanks to funding provided by NAMA. However in recent days NAMA said it was no longer prepared to provide any more funds. The company did not have the funds to continue to trade beyond next week.

The hospital was left with the option of either closing its doors immediately, which counsel said was "not an option" or having liquidators appointed who would ensure an orderly winding up of the business. 

Counsel said NAMA is prepared to fund the liquidation and orderly wind up of the business. 

Approximately 328 people were employed at the hospital. Out of the 250 full time employees 150 of them were nurses. 

The matter will return before the court early next month

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