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Google's €300,000 RDS party helps keep circus afloat

Fossett's Brothers Circus has been helped towards recovery by partying Google staff at the RDS.

The search engine giant had taken over all of the Ballsbridge venue for a €300,000 staff Christmas party.

And Fossett's was already in place to provide the entertainment.

The circus has been playing to capacity audiences since it took up a Christmas and New Year residency only days after applying to the Circuit Civil Court for protection against its creditors.

Barry Lyons, the solicitor for examiner Joseph Walsh who is putting together a financial safety net for the threatened company, told the court the examinership was progressing satisfactorily after 68 days.

Mr Lyons, of Lyons Kenny Solicitors, asked Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke for an extension of court protection until January 16. He said the circus had benefitted from the Google bash.

The court heard the Lucan circus had been walking a financial tightrope for years and had been facing potential collapse in October.

Mr Walsh believes that under a scheme of examinership the company has a reasonable prospect of survival that will save the jobs of 16 employees and the future of the big top.

troupe

The family business can trace its origins back to the 1880s to a circus troupe started by Corkman George Lowe who had toured Ireland before emigrating to the US.

His participation in a number of variety shows there brought him to the attention of William Cody, better-known as Buffalo Bill, who invited him to join his Wild West Show.

Lowe returned to Ireland in 1887 and embarked on tours with his own circus troupe.

In 1918 horseman Edward Fossett joined Lowe's circus and eventually married his daughter, Mona.

The couple had six children, all of whom followed their parents into the business, eventually setting up the Edward Fossett and Sons Circus which has been handed down through the family.

The court was told a family dispute led to High Court proceedings which began in 1992 and did not end until 2008 with a €500,000 settlement debt which still hangs over the company.

Judge Groarke granted the extension of the examinership.

hnews@herald.ie


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