Suppliers pull out over pay delays


TWO SUPPLIERS to Galway’s Volvo Ocean Race festival withdrew their services yesterday in a dispute with organisers over delayed payments.

Local company, Lets Do It Galway, which is not connected to Volvo, is responsible for organising the nine-day festival held in the city to mark the ocean race’s finish.

Yesterday, the two suppliers began withdrawing their services on the grounds that the company had not met commitments to pay them for services this year, or to meet arrears dating back to 2009, when the ocean race last stopped at Galway. Event Medical Services, which provides ambulance and emergency back-up, and Mongey Communications, which provides communications equipment, public address systems and big screens, had both told organisers that they were withdrawing their services if payments due to them were not made.

At least two other suppliers were said to be close to taking the same action. The businesses were due to receive payments from Lets Do It Galway this week.

Willie Wade, managing director of Event Medical Services, confirmed that he had told organisers that his company was withdrawing its services. He said that his business was due a total of €37,000, €17,000 of which dates back to the 2009 festival. “The deadline was today [yesterday] and they did not meet it so I had to pull the plug.”

He said that Lets Do It Galway had promised the company an upfront payment for providing its services this year and was prepared to clear the 2009 arrears.

However, he said that the business had received nothing to date. Mr Wade said that he was aware that other companies were considering taking similar action.

Mongey Communications is understood to be owed a five-figure sum and was due a payment this week which had not materialised by last night.

Event Medical Services has a long track record and has provided emergency back-up for events such as the Oxegen music festival and the Ryder Cup.

Mongey Communications has a similar profile. It provided equipment to last night’s Stone Roses concert in Phoenix Park and was also a contractor to the Ryder Cup.

Enda O’Coineen, chairman of Lets Do It Global, the parent of Lets Do It Galway, pointed out last night that the festival had a turnover of €10 million and said some cashflow difficulties were a normal part of such events. He said that “all suppliers would be paid”. Mr O’Coineen said he did not comment on specific cases.