Tuesday 12 December 2017

Receiver wants fashion outlet owners jailed

Justice Mary Faherty
Justice Mary Faherty

Aodhan O Faolain and Ray Managh

The Bank of Ireland receiver appointed to the well-known McElhinneys fashion outlet in Athboy, Co Meath, is to ask the High Court for new orders, including attachment and imprisonment.

Barry Forrest, the receiver, launched fresh proceedings against members of the Sweeney family, which owns the McElhinney shop premises, claiming that they had failed to honour a settlement agreement they allegedly entered into last October.

The receiver last year sought possession orders in relation to three premises - McElhinney's Department Store, McElhinney's Bridal Shop and a property known as Guinans, all at Main Street, Athboy.

Mr Forrest was appointed by the bank in March 2013 after the owners of the properties had failed to repay loans of €2.34m.

The properties had been put up as security for the loans.

McElhinney Fashions Limited, which operates the business, and the owners of the properties - Neal Sweeney, Aonghus Sweeney, Elizabeth Sweeney and Mary Sweeney - had opposed the Receiver's application.

The High Court had previously been told that the matter had been settled with an agreement that the owners would hand over possession of the three properties sought by the bank.

It had also been agreed that a stay until May 31, 2015, would remain on an order for possession of the main department store premises in Athboy.

Ms Justice Mary Faherty was told by lawyers for the receiver that the defendants had not complied with parts of the agreement.

Possession of the main department store in Athboy had not been handed over, as had been previously agreed, the court heard.

In a brief ex-parte hearing, the court was told that the receiver intends seeking the attachment and committal to prison of several of the defendants.

The judge granted the Receiver permission to serve short notice of his intentions on the defendants and adjourned the matter for a week.

In December 2013, the Receiver sought injunctions granting him possession and entry to the properties after he and his agents were denied access to the properties. The Sweeneys and the company opposed the granting of the possession orders.

Irish Independent

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