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Liquidators appointed to USIT companies in wake of Covid-19 devastation

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THE High Court has confirmed the appointment of liquidators to companies in the USIT student travel group.

The firms, which employed some 149 people, say the collapse was entirely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Justice Michael Quinn yesterday confirmed the appointments of Kieran Wallace and Andrew O'Leary of KPMG, as liquidators.

They had been provisionally appointed last month following an application by the firms.

The companies are Dublin USIT Ireland, the principal trading company; School and Group Tours and Dublin College of Business Studies (DCBS). USIT Ireland specialised in US summer work and related travel programmes; School and Group Tours was involved in organising school tours to international destinations and DCBS operated a school at Abbey Street, Dublin 1, trading as the English Studio Dublin, teaching English as a foreign language.

Rossa Fanning SC, for the companies, told the court that while the group had been profitable up to a few months ago, their business had been completely wiped out by the travel restrictions that have been imposed globally by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The language school, counsel added, also saw its bookings by students seeking to undertake courses disappear due to the pandemic. As a result the firms became insolvent and had no option other than to go into liquidation.

Stephen Walsh BL, for the joint liquidators, told the court that since his clients' appointment they had been engaging with the employees, and the Social Protection Minister.

Counsel said unfortunately all but a handful of the employees had been let go.

Mr Justice Quinn said he was satisfied from the evidence put before the court to confirm Mr Wallace and Mr O'Leary's appointment as liquidators, and their directors should file statements of affairs.

Irish Independent