Sunday 22 July 2018

Sammon enters examinership

Fears two new Bray schools 'now at the mercy of examiner'

Mary Fogarty

The building contractor which had been building Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell schools has gone into examinership following the collapse of construction firm Carillion.

The High Court has appointed interim examiner Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton Ireland to Sammon.

The Sammon examinership case is due back in court next Monday, April 16, while the closing date for bids to complete the schools was last week.

'It is unclear whether a Sammon bid will be selected but whether it is or not, the current uncertainty must give rise to serious concerns that the completion process may now be further delayed,' said Cllr Joe Behan.

He said that the examinership may not be good news for the Bray schools.

'While the schools have been assured that a plan was in place to have the buildings ready for this September, they are now at the mercy of a court-appointed interim examiner, as well as a Japanese bank and a Dutch infrastructure fund.'

The collapse of the Carillion group three months ago called a halt to further works to complete Ravenswell and the opening of the virtually complete Coláiste Ráithín in the absence of a maintenance contract.

Cllr Behan has called on the Minister for Education and the five Wicklow TDs to put emergency legislation through the Dáil to allow the Government to take ownership of the buildings.

'To those who dismiss this idea, I say that when banks, beef barons and insurance companies were in deep trouble in the past, there was no problem at all in pushing emergency legislation through the Dáil overnight to allow the State become owners or rescuers of these entities,' said Cllr Behan.

'Surely the lives and educational achievements of our greatest resource, our young people, are also worthy of our protection?'

Justice Robert Haughton said last week that the Sammon firms have a reasonable prospect of surviving if certain steps are taken.

The group was hired by the public private partnership, including Carillion, to build six schools in ireland, including those in Bray.

The court heard last week that the collapse of Carillion has had 'a devastating and immediate impact' on Sammon.

Bray People