#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 6°C Thursday 21 October 2021
Advertisement

A Dublin cake shop will be wound up after an 'aggressive' standoff for €100,000 in rates

Decobake, which employs nearly 50 staff, is being put into liquidation.

Image: YouTube

THE HIGH COURT has appointed a provisional liquidator to a company that makes and sells cake decorations and baking products after an ‘aggressive’ standoff over the firm’s unpaid rates.

Dublin City Council sought an order winding up Decobake Limited, which has operated a store at Bachelor’s Walk for several years, over its failure to pay a commercial rates bill of around €102,000.

The council said a provisional liquidator should be appointed because the company is insolvent and unable to pay its debts, and to ensure Decobake’s assets are not put out of reach of its creditors.

At the High Court, Justice Paul Gilligan said he was satisfied to appoint a provisional liquidator to Decobake, which has a registered address at Claddagh Cottage, Hortland Donadea, Naas, Co Kildare.

The appointment was made following an ex-parte application to the court. As well as its store in central Dublin, the company operates from a warehouse in Clane, Co Kildare.

The company’s directors are Paul and Margaret Coyle. Paul Coyle is the sole shareholder of the company.

Records show the company had 46 employees as of the end of November 2015.

Securing assets

The matter returned before the High Court this afternoon, when the court was informed that the company was in a position to make payments to DCC in respect of the unpaid rates.

However DCC said the offer was not acceptable to it. Justice Gilligan said he was not prepared to stay or set aside an order appointing the provisional liquidator.

If the company wished to vary the order appointing a provisional liquidator it could bring an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Justice Gilligan added it was also up to the parties themselves, and or the liquidator, to see if they could come to an arrangement over the debt.

Seeking the appointment, Brian Conroy for the council said his client had tried to engage with the company in respect of the rates bill, but this had not been successful and the firm had neglected to pay the demand.

Counsel said that, arising out of the failure, the council was seeking the appointment of a provisional liquidator to secure the firms assets on several grounds.

These include that the company’s directors had created and registered a floating charge over the firms assets.

Counsel said the council’s view is the charge was fraudulently created in an attempt to place the company’s assets beyond the reach of its creditors.

The council had obtained warrants from the District Court in respect of the unpaid rates, and the matter had been referred to the city sheriff, counsel said.

A confrontation

Last December, the sheriff’s agents were unable to execute the warrants against the company’s assets after they were confronted at Decobake’s Dublin city premises by a number of aggressive and physically intimidating individuals, counsel said.

It is the council’s case that these persons had been brought in to prevent the agents taking possession of the company’s goods.

The agents withdrew for their own safety after they were denied access and threatened with violence, the court heard.

Lawyers for the company then wrote a letter to the superintendent at Store Street Garda station claiming the sheriff’s agents had attempted to unlawfully enter the firm’s premises. The council denies this.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Counsel said attempts by the company to set aside the District Court warrants had recently been struck out.

The appointment of a provisional liquidator to the company would be able to identify and secure the company’s assets for the benefit of the creditors, counsel said.

The judge said he was satisfied to appoint the liquidator and granted him powers including allowing him take possession, control of and identify the firms assets and take possession of its books and records.

The court also gave the liquidator the power to investigate the firm’s bank accounts and, if required, operate the bank accounts.

In a statement, Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan said the “vast majority” of the council’s ratepayers paid their bills on time and it was prepared to engage with firms that “run into difficulty”.

“At the same time, the council has a duty to all compliant ratepayers to ensure that where individual businesses refuse to pay their rates or to engage meaningfully with the council that the matter is pursued up to and including liquidation.”

Additional reporting Peter Bodkin.

Originally posted on Fora.ie

Comments are closed for legal reasons

Sign up to our newsletter to receive a regular digest of Fora’s top articles delivered to your inbox.

Read: ‘I had no income for two years – I couldn’t do that to myself or my family again’

Read: This development on the site of An Post’s former depot has hit the market for over €150m

About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

Read next:

COMMENTS