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McElhinneys fashion store could be saved

The well-known occasion-wear shop employs 29 people in Meath.

A PROPOSED INVESTMENT could secure 29 jobs at well-known fashion outlet McElhinneys of Athboy, Co Meath, the High Court was told today.

Mr Justice Donald Binchy agreed to adjourn an application by Bank of Ireland-appointed receiver Barry Forrest seeking to have members of the Sweeney family, which operates the shop, committed to prison for their alleged failure to comply with an agreement they had entered into last October.

The motion for attachment and committal of Neal Sweeney, the store’s general manager and the directors of McElhinney’s Fashion Ltd, is being contested.

The Court was told the parties were prepared to have the proceedings put back for several weeks to see if a proposed third party investor was prepared to come forward with a sum of €600,000 to purchase the fashion outlet’s premises in Athboy. In the meantime the store will continue trading.

Judge Binchy, who adjourned the application until the new law term in October, said that if no evidence of the proposed investment was provided to the receiver and BOI by then, the applications for attachment and committal could proceed.

Receiver

Last year the receiver sought possession orders in relation to three premises – McElhinney’s Department Store, McElhinney’s Bridal Shop and a property known as Guinans, all located at Main Street, Athboy.

Forrest was appointed in March 2013 by BOI after the owners of the properties, which had been put up as security, failed to repay €2.34 million owed to the bank.

McElhinneys of Athboy's Photos - McElhinneys of Athboy | Facebook Source: McElhinneys of Athboy

Last October the High Court was told the matter had been resolved as part of an agreement in which the owners of the business agreed to hand over possession of three properties sought by the bank.

The court heard Forrest had been unable to secure peaceful possession of the property and had brought a motion seeking to have Neal Sweeney and the directors of McElhinney Fashions Ltd attached and committed to prison.

That application, should it proceed next month, will be contested by the former owners of the companies.

Comments on this article are closed as it relates to an ongoing court case. 

Note: McElhinneys of Donegal is a separate shop and in no way connected.

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Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

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