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High Court appoints liquidator to McInerney companies

A LIQUIDATOR was appointed yesterday by the High Court to two of five companies in the McInerney construction group.

The move came after an interim examiner appointed to the firms last August indicated survival proposals for the group would now only apply to two of its companies -- McInerney Homes Ltd and McInerney Contracting Ltd -- which are largely involved in house building.

The examiner, William O'Riordan, finalised an investment plan for the two companies last Sunday. It will be presented to creditors tomorrow.

Two of the other three companies, McInerney Construction (Holdings) Ltd, and McInerney Contracting Dublin Ltd, are not being included and court protection for them could be lifted, the court heard.

These two companies were mainly involved in contracting out work and managing investments in subsidiaries.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly appointed Mr O'Riordan as liquidator to those companies and ordered their directors, Enda Cunningham, Mark Shakespeare and John Crowley to file a statement of their affairs within 21 days to the court.

John Hennessy, acting for the companies, said protection could also be lifted for the fifth company, McInerney Holdings plc, but there was no need for a winding-up order as the company's fortunes had changed and it was able to pay it debts.


The court was told that the firm -- essentially a company that managed borrowings -- had significant assets over liabilities.

Mr Hennessy said one of the company's principal assets was an investment in Spain it was disposing of, and that this would result of a significant inflow of funds.

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Rossa Fanning, barrister for a syndicate of three creditor banks opposed to the examinership, noted that it was already day 91 of the examinership process. He said his clients -- Anglo Irish Bank, KBC and Bank of Ireland, who are owed €116m by the McInerney group -- were implacably opposed to the examinership.

It appeared the new solvency of the plc had been "engineered" in what Mr Fanning said was a situation without precedent given that the company was under court protection.

But Mr Hennessy, for the company, rejected the "engineered" claim as unfounded.

Mr Justice Kelly said in view of the circumstances where the examiner said it is not possible to find an investor for two companies, the court had little option but to appoint a liquidator to them.

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