Furniture chain ceases trading
THERE ARE growing fears for the future of as many as 80 jobs after a Galway-based furniture business ceased trading suddenly over the weekend.
With headquarters in Ballybrit in Galway, Curley Furniture Carpets Ltd operated stores in Galway, Clare and Kilkenny employing up to 80 staff.
Notices posted on the doors of the company’s Ennis store on Saturday morning said: “Curley Furniture Carpets Limited (in receivership) has ceased trading”. Customers were advised to contact receivers Grant Thornton in Galway.
However, despite a telephone number being posted at the Ennis premises, all calls were immediately transferred to an answering machine.
Grant Thornton were appointed joint receivers and managers on April 2nd last. In accounts filed last year, Curley’s Furniture and Carpets showed a pre-tax loss of €3.8 million in 2009 following a drop in revenue.
The company continued to trade and underwent some restructuring last month, including a change of name from Curley’s Furniture to Curley’s Interiors.
Curley’s had also closed a branch in Craughwell in Galway but reopened it again some months later.
The company had hoped to continue as a going concern but this depended on the “availability of continued support from the company’s bankers”.
Efforts to contact director John Curley were unsuccessful. Telephones at all the company’s outlets also rang out yesterday and on Saturday.
A Grant Thornton employee who visited the Ennis store late on Saturday evening declined to comment and referred all queries to the Galway office.
Security staff have maintained a round-the-clock presence at the Ennis store since the receivers took over the premises on Saturday morning.
A stream of customers called to the Ennis branch during the day on Saturday only to find the building locked.
One customer said: “I can’t believe it. I was here last weekend and all but had a deal done.”
Mayor of Ennis Cllr Michael Guilfoyle said: “This is another jobs blow and I would hope that the receivers will make their position clear as soon as possible and outline what the future holds for this business.
“Workers in particular, but also customers, will want to know as soon as possible whether that’s the end of the business and, if people are owed money, if they will get it back.”