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Celia pledges to tackle debts as salon closes up

CELIA Larkin has promised she will pay all her debts following the closure of her beauty salon business.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's ex-partner said she shut down her Blue Door salon in Drumcondra but hasn't tried to protect herself against creditors who are seeking money.

An emotional Ms Larkin choked back tears as she revealed how her business went to the wall.

"Don't start me because I get emotional about it, I'm afraid," she said on RTE's Liveline.


She added: "My business was losing money. The company is in debt and I'm going to take the debt personally."

Ms Larkin had the option of limiting her liability and walking away from most of her debts.

But she said that is not who she is.

"I'm in Blue Door in Drumcondra for nine years and I certainly felt that I had an obligation," she said, as her voice wavered.

While she did not reveal the extent of her debts, she said she had to take the financial hit herself.

"Otherwise I would have left devastation behind me by leaving people high and dry. Anyone who supplies you is a small company as well.

"They need to be paid, they need to be looked after. The girls need to get their holiday pay.

"If it went on much longer I couldn't have done that. I would have had to go into liquidation," Ms Larkin said.

She decided last Thursday to close the business.

"My main concern was for my customers and my staff and Lemons Beauty Salon in Clontarf are very kindly going to honour all current vouchers and outstanding pre-paid treatments up to the next six months," she said.

The latest company accounts for Beauty at the Blue Door show the business was in financial difficulty for the past 18 months.

Accounts for 2008 registered at the Companies Office in October last year showed the company had net current liabilities of €32,807.


They also showed shareholders' funds were €56,425 in the red.

Meanwhile, Ms Larkin received more than €14,000 for her membership of the National Consumer Agency (NCA) board.

She attended five meetings in the year, according to the annual report. The NCA paid out just over €14,000 in expenses to nine board members last year.

Ms Larkin was paid €13,184 in fees in 2009 and claimed €923 in expenses.