THE owners of an award-winning restaurant and specialty supermarket expressed relief last night after the High Court approved a rescue plan for the business that will save 160 jobs.
Fiona McHugh and Paul Byrne, owners of Dublin's Fallon & Byrne gourmet food emporium on Exchequer Street, said they were delighted that Mr Justice Brian McGovern approved a set of proposals put forward by the court-appointed examiner yesterday. The judge's ruling allows the company to exit from examinership and continue to trade as a going concern.
"All of us at Fallon & Byrne are enormously relieved that the business we love so much has come out of examinership," the married business partners said in a statement.
"We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our suppliers and customers for their steadfast support throughout and to the Revenue Commissioners and Neil Hughes of Hughes Blake, the examiner, for their help in restructuring the business and protecting its jobs."
A sense of relief was also evident among workers yesterday as they went about their normal duties, while customers were also happy to hear that it will be business as usual. Last January chartered accountant Neil Hughes was appointed as examiner to the company after it sought court protection from its creditors on the grounds that it was insolvent and unable to pay a €1.4m tax bill.
However, an independent accountant said he believed the business could survive if certain conditions were met, including securing new investment. Yesterday, Mr Hughes's counsel, Rossa Fanning, said all conditions set out in the accountant's report were satisfied. All but one of the firm's 122 creditors approved the scheme.