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Charity funds remain unpaid as Event Elephant petition for examinership

Several charity organisations claims that Event Elephant owes them money as interim examiner is appointed.

SEVERAL CHARITIES FEAR that funds raised are to be lost after events company Event Elephant petitioned for examinership.

Insolvency firm Hughes Blake has confirmed it has been appointed as an interim examiner to the company ahead of an initial hearing  on 9 August.

An examiner will determine the assets and liabilities of a company and decide on payments to creditors.

Event planning company Event Elephant was launched in 2008 and part of their business has been to process ticket payments for events put on by volunteer organisations. Event Elephant take a fee for the service but it cuts down on administration for the volunteer organisation.

In recent weeks however a number of charities have complained that payment owed to them by Event Elephant have not been made.

Patient support services group DEBRA Ireland for example says it is owed €17,737 by Event Elephant following a fundraising
ball last November.

DEBRA Ireland say this money had been earmarked to support a home help nurse in partnership with Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital but claim that Event Elephant are using an administrative loophole to withhold the funds.

DEBRA say Event Elephant explains that the non-payment as due to ‘charge backs’ where people have cancelled their ticket purchase. DEBRA deny this is the case here explaining that only 1 person out of 200 tickets sold queried the purchase.

Jimmy Fearon of DEBRA Ireland says that if the payments are not made it will have a major impact on the organisation:

This will impact on nursing cover, respite grants and our support for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital and St James Hospital. As a small charity fighting a big fight this amount of money is colossal.

In examinership cases where charities are involved there is a provision where charities can be placed in a separate class of creditor. This could lead to them being given a larger dividend than others owed money but much depends the specific case.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie interim examiner Joe Walsh of Hughes Blake said that this would not be required in this case as he said client funds are held in a separate trust and would not form part of any examinership process.

Event Elephant  also confirmed that event organisers’ funds are held in trust and that clients will receive this income as agreed.

Updated 17.44 23rd July 2013

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Rónán Duffy

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