McNamara enters receivership

 

Nama and the banks have taken effective control of Michael McNamara and Company, one of the biggest building and civil engineering groups in the Republic, after the State's assets agency rejected the group’s business plan.

It is understood that the group voluntarily asked Dublin accountants and corporate insolvency specialist, Farrell Grant Sparks, to take over as receiver late last night.

The company is owned by developer Bernard McNamara, who stepped back from any direct involvement in the business earlier this year in order to protect it from any fall out from his own personal financial troubles, which stemmed mainly from his part in the purchase of the former glass bottle site in Dublin’s Ringsend in 2007 for €412 million.

Mr McNamara has debts estimated at €1.5 billion as a result of these activities and he recently settled with two former business partners who were seeking judgment against him for €2.1 million.

The group has worked on a range of high-profile State-financed and private-finance projects, including the construction of the acute hospital block at St Vincent’s in Dublin for €140 million, the new offices for the fisheries division of An Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), in Clonakilty, Co Cork, for €21 million and the extension of the National Gallery for €25 million.

The company has halted work on all its current projects, including a new €22 million block at Letterkenny General Hospital, from where some 50 workers were turned away by security staff this morning.

The majority of work on the 6,600 sq m extension in Letterkenny, which consists of a three floor medical unit and a new Accident and Emergency Unit, is already complete.

Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty, who is his party's candidate in the forthcoming Donegal South West byelection, said the legal wrangle must not obstruct the opening of the unit.

Fianna Fáil Senator Brian O’Domhnaill, who is also contesting the byelection, said there is no question the new hospital extension will be completed.

“I have received assurances from Government that all the building projects on site in Letterkenny General Hospital will be completed. The money has been set aside for these projects and they will be finished,” he said.

“This new unit is a priority for the people of Donegal. I and the Government are committed to ensuring that it will be delivered.”