Tuesday 17 September 2019

Liquidator to chase Tusla over cash allegedly owed to specialist care firm

Four Courts
Four Courts
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A liquidator is to pursue Tusla over alleged unpaid debts which are said to have contributed to a specialist care company becoming insolvent.

John Healy of Kirby Healy Chartered Accountants is also set to investigate claims, outlined in an affidavit opened in court, that €215,000 was diverted to a former manager of Intensive Community Programmes Ltd (ICP) and has not been accounted for.

The High Court today ordered the winding up of ICP and approved the appointment of the liquidator.

The company was contracted by Tusla to provide specialist care for highly vulnerable teenagers and young adults with complex psychological and behavioural problems.

In a court filing, ICP director Bernard Morrin alleged difficulties getting invoices paid by Tusla since late 2017 culminated in a situation last month where the company did not have enough in its bank account to cover wages.  He said that at one point Tusla owed €424,000 and that by the time the company petitioned for liquidation in August some €184,000 was still owed.

Orders for the winding up of the Naas-based company and the appointment of the liquidator were granted by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys following an application by ICP’s barrister Stephen Walsh.

Mr Healy was initially appointed provisional liquidator on August 20. The court heard his immediate priority had been to ensure alternative places were found for eight young people who had been in ICP’s care. Mr Healy’s responsibilities now include realising the assets of the company and distributing any excess to creditors. The main creditor is the Revenue Commissioners.

As part of the process he will be pursuing debts allegedly owed to ICP and investigating the affairs of the company.

Tusla has declined to comment on Mr Morrin’s allegations and would not say whether or not the matter was being investigated internally.

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