Spectra Photo subsidiary goes into liquidation


THE ADVANCE of the digital camera alongside the general slowdown in the economy was blamed yesterday for the collapse of Spectra Photo (Retail).

The company, a subsidiary of Spectra Group, one of the State’s largest private groups, has gone into liquidation.

A creditors’ meeting yesterday was told that technological changes, which saw pictures taken with digital cameras increasingly being printed at home, as well as the downturn on the high street, had fatally undermined the business of the company.

Spectra Photo (Retail) was the company responsible for the chain of 20 Spectra stores across the State.

The creditors’ meeting held in Tralee early yesterday to wind up the company was told that three redundancies will result from yesterday’s wind-up.

However, the company had already closed 15 of its 20 stores since announcing, earlier this month, its intention to hold a creditors’ meeting.

Accountant Gerard Murphy, based in Midleton, Co Cork, and a specialist in insolvency and reconstruction was appointed liquidator at yesterday’s meeting, which was chaired by Evan McAuliffe, son of Xavier McAuliffe, who is the major shareholder in the group.

Founded by photographer and developer Xavier McAuliffe in Listowel in 1970, Spectra became the first company to offer an overnight photograph printing service in the 1980s.

The processing end of the Spectra business in Listowel is not affected by yesterday’s decision.

The private meeting took just minutes at the Fels Point Hotel in Tralee.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Murphy said many of the 35 outlets dealing with Spectra products were not affected by the collapse of Spectra Photo (Retail) and, to his knowledge, the rest of the Spectra Group companies – which includes hotels and developments here and overseas – were healthy and very strong.