Water scheme in limbo after Pierse liquidation

 

A €48 million taxpayer-funded construction project has been left in limbo by the liquidation of building group, Pierse, which was the main contractor on a number of ongoing State-backed developments.

The High Court appointed Simon Coyle of consultancy firm, Mazars, as liquidator to Pierse Contracting and Pierse Building Services earlier this week. The group has a €212 million deficit and owes €51.5 million to unsecured creditors, many of whom are subcontractors and suppliers.

It emerged yesterday that the €48 million Boherboy Water Services Scheme, on which Pierse was the main contractor, is effectively in limbo as a result of the liquidation. The water supply scheme, run by South Dublin County Council, is 90 per cent complete and was due to be finished in the first quarter of next year.

A spokesman for the council said the authority does not yet know what impact the liquidation will have. Pierse had a bond in place, but he pointed out that this is an insurance policy, and various conditions would have to be met before it can be paid out.

Pierse is also the main contractor on Wexford County Council’s new headquarters, which is on a site next to the Department of the Environment’s new offices in Wexford, and on new civic offices for Gorey. Another contractor, Sisk, has stepped in as lead contractor on four schools in Bantry, where it was responsible for a community college, and gaelscoileanna in Kildare and Athboy.

Meanwhile, figures show that Remayne, the Pierse group entity at the centre of concerns raised in the High Court about inter-company loans, received a €187,400 dividend from the group in 2008.

Remayne owes almost €40 million, in an unsecured, interest-free loan, to Pierse Contracting, which advanced it the cash to buy a one-third share in the group’s ultimate parent, Birmayne.