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Schools works suspended as building firm claims Government owes "substantial monies"

Cordil Construction has temporarily suspended some 450 jobs claiming it is owed money from Government departments, including the HSE and the Department of Education for projects.

A CONSTRUCTION COMPANY with millions of euro worth of work lined up for public sector projects including schools says it has been forced to temporarily lay off hundreds of staff and suspend some work. Part of the reason for the stoppage, it claims, is that it is owed “substantial monies” by Government departments.

Galway-based firm Cordil Construction has had to suspend work on a number of schools amongst other projects worth €27 million with the temporary loss of some 450 jobs.

The company, which employs 51 permanent staff and gives business to more than 400 Irish suppliers and sub-contractors, says it is owed “substantial monies” from various contracts for Government departments including the HSE and the Department of Education.

However, the DoE has said that that all payments that were due to be paid under the contract with Cordil have been paid to date. The HSE was unable to respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

The company says that cash flow was affected by the weather conditions over December and January and that it is making extensive efforts to secure funding as it suspends work a two-week period.

A spokesperson for Cordil said that discussions with banks were ongoing on an almost “hourly” basis to try and secure funding and added that that the company was “quite confident” that funding that there will be a positive resolution within a week.

The company said it made “extensive efforts ” to secure funding including contacting various ministers and officials in government.

The majority of the 15 public sector projects are schools including Ard Scoil Ris in Limerick and Colaiste Iognaid in Galway. Work on St Colman’s Care Centre in Achill has also had to be suspended.

Cordil says that due to the adverse weather conditions over December last year and January this year meant that the company’s turnover dropped from €3m per month to €600,000 per month.

Under the terms of its public sector contact, the company is expected to finance projects for up to 10 weeks but with capital reserves severely depleted Cordil has been unable to meet payments.

The spokesperson for the construction firm added that this type of contract was “very harsh and unfair” in the current climate.

The temporary suspension has been put in place as efforts continue to establish a temporary overdraft facility.

In a statement to the TheJournal.ie this evening, the Department of Education said:

In relation to claims on delays in receiving payments for school building projects, the Department can confirm that all payments that were due to be paid under the contract have been paid to date.

The HSE did not return a request for comment at the time of publication.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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