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Carey blocks efforts to appoint different liquidator to business

HURLING hero DJ Carey and his partner Sarah Newman yesterday blocked attempts to appoint a different liquidator to wind down their contract-cleaning business.

Noel Murphy was yesterday appointed to wind down the Kilkenny legend's loss-making business, which had debts of €1.7m when the latest accounts were filed for the group.

The smooth running of the process threatened to come undone at one stage, when an attempt was made to install a different liquidator.

That attempt came amid rising tensions in the room, according to people inside a creditors' meeting in Dublin.

One creditor wanted to appoint Tom Stafford, of Dublin-based Stafford Friel, instead of Noel Murphy.

Mr Stafford was in attendance but it is understood that proposal was ultimately voted down by a majority of creditors. The attempt to appoint a different liquidator was doomed because Mr Carey and Ms Newman are owed more than 50pc of debts run up by the business. This gave them the final say.

Ms Newman, best known as an investor on 'Dragons' Den', is not believed to have been at the meeting in person but creditors' votes can be transferred to anyone attending.

A file on the collapse of the business will now be prepared by Mr Murphy and sent to the Director of Corporate Enforcement. Preparing such a file is standard procedure when any business fails.

Mr Murphy, a partner with Cork-based Parfrey Murphy, was nominated by Mr Carey and was appointed as liquidator after a vote of around 20 creditors. The creditors' meetings were closed to the public.

The names of the small number of employees and businesses owed money by Mr Carey's companies were checked at the door against a list held by the company.

Creditors are understood to include the Revenue Commissioners and Ulster Bank, but most of the trade creditors and employees are owed small amounts.

Ulster Bank's relatively modest loans to the company are secured on a personal guarantee from Mr Carey, the company's accounts show. Mr Carey himself is owed money by the business as a result of loans he made to help it trade through its difficulties. The loans totalled around €600,000, according to company accounts.

Much of that loan was used to pay rent on premises at Grant's Road Business Park in Dublin, which he owned himself.

Meanwhile, unauthorised financial dealings at the group running to hundreds of thousands of euro are the subject of an ongoing garda investigation.

The transactions were unsuccessfully investigated by the company's own auditors. Gardai are understood to have been called in by Mr Carey after he was made aware of the mystery transactions by the auditors.

Irish Independent