McElhinneys case adjourned for week

Receiver agrees to allow operators of Athboy fashion business continue to trade

 McElhinneys women’s fashion business in Athboy, Co Meath. Photograph: David Sleator

McElhinneys women’s fashion business in Athboy, Co Meath. Photograph: David Sleator

Wed, Dec 11, 2013, 22:40

A bank-appointed receiver has agreed to allow the operators of McElhinneys women’s fashion business to continue to trade in Athboy, Co Meath, the High Court has heard.

Barry Forrest was appointed by Bank of Ireland last March as receiver over McElhinneys department store, McElhinneys bridal shop and a property known as Guinans, all on Main Street, Athboy.

He was appointed after the owners of the properties, various members of the Sweeney family, failed to repay loans totally €2.34 million.

Mr Forrest had initiated proceedings seeking injunctions granting him possession and entry to the properties after being allegedly denied entry. Neal Sweeney, general manager of the stores, has brought proceedings challenging the validity of the receiver’s appointment.

When the matter came before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan yesterday, he was told a firm of solicitors had only come on record for the company and Neal Sweeney.

Needed time
The lawyers said their clients have a bona fide defence to the receiver’s claims but they needed time to deal with the case.

Lawyers for the receivers had asked that the application for the injunctions proceed, arguing the matter was urgent. Should the receiver get the injunctions, he was prepared to enter an agreement allowing the company to continue to trade on the premises during the Christmas period.

Adjourning the matter for a week, the judge said he accepted the defendants’ lawyers needed time to consider matters but he was also satisfied the defendants were aware of the proceedings for some time.

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