Tuesday 22 October 2019

Village 'facing closure' to have fate decided by courts

Pat The Cope Gallagher
Pat The Cope Gallagher

Greg Harkin

A VILLAGE facing ‘closure’ with the loss of 40 jobs will have its fate decided in the courts later this week by the banks.

Even golfer Paul McGinley, whose father is from Creeslough in Co Donegal, is hoping a deal can be done to rescue two village shops and a pub.

The man who owns the businesses, Danny Lafferty, says he is ‘hopeful’ the AIB will agree a payment structure which will save the jobs.

He took his businesses into examinership in February.

“I will be retiring on Friday after 43 years in business and I will be either handing the keys over to the next generation or a receiver,” said Mr Lafferty.

“The survival of the companies are very much dependent on the support of the state bodies and I hope they back the scheme otherwise it will be the State that will end up losing the most through redundancies, loss of revenue and the significant knock-on effect that it will have on other local business.

“Jobs are very difficult to come by and even worse in Donegal, and if the scheme proposed does not get support, other business in the village will probably have to close as well,” he said.

MEP Pat The Cope Gallagher said he hoped a deal with the AIB will be approved.

“The businesses are the heartbeat of Creeslough. Danny’s two sons are hoping to step in and keep them going,” said Mr Gallagher.

“I would be concerned that if the bank (AIB) is unwilling to agree a Scheme of Arrangement for creditors that a liquidator will be appointed and in my view the bank will most likely end up with less money from that.”

A spokesman for the Save Our Village campaign group, which has 1,000 supporters, said it had been humbled by the messages it had received.

“These included one from Paul McGinley, the Ryder Cup captain whose father is from Creeslough,” said the spokesman.

The case will be heard before Mr Justice Peter Kelly on Thursday.

At the last hearing four weeks ago, the court heard that turnover at the two shops and the pub were up as a result of support from local people.

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