Saturday 16 December 2017

Liquidator appointed to nursing home shut down for health and safety reasons

Tim Healy

THE High Court has wound up a company operating a nursing home which shut down in 2011 over concerns for the health and safety of its residents.

The winding-up order was made today by Mr Justice Peter Charleton for Avondale Nursing Home Ltd which ran the home at Callan, Co Kilkenny.

It was closed almost three years ago after the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) obtained court orders cancelling the company's registration.  The nursing home was temporarily taken over by the HSE, before being closed.

The application to liquidate the company was brought by Bridget Brander, Ballybur, Cuffesgrange, Co Kilkenny, over unpaid wages of more than €25,000.

The judge said the company was clearly insolvent and unable to pay its debts as they fall due. He appointed Declan de Lacey of PKF O'Connor, Leddy & Holmes as liquidator of the firm.

Ms Brander's solicitor, James Evans, told the court today his client was one of several former employees of the company who were owed thousands in unpaid wages.

He said the company was ordered in February 2013 by the Employment Appeals Tribunal to pay Ms Brander €25,600.  A demand was served on the company last September which was not satisfied, Mr Evans said.

The company,which had been struck off for failing to file returns, had since been restored to the Registrar of Companies, Mr Evans said.  His client was now seeking to have a liquidator appointed to see if the company has any assets which could be sold to satisfy the debt,

Mr Evans said it was not known if the company has any assets. Its directors, Miriam Holmes and Hayley Holmes, with addresses at The Weir, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny, are now believed to be living in Australia.

Issues arising out of the running of the nursing home were the subject of a garda investigation, Mr Evans also told the court.

Mr Evans said his client sought to have a liquidator appointed so that she, and the the firm's other former employees,  will be able to recover some of what they are owed from the Social Protection Fund.

Mr Justice Charleton, in confirming Mr Delargy's appointment as liquidator, made the matter returnable before the examiner's court in July.

When HIQA cancelled Avondale's registration, its inspectors had found the home did not have enough trained staff working at important times of the day and did not have enough facilities for residents.

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