Deputy Jackie Cahill to seek 'fair play' for Tipperary firms hit by windfarm contractor's examinership

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Deputy Jackie Cahill to seek 'fair play' for Tipperary firms hit by windfarm contractor's examinership

Deputy Jackie Cahill

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill is calling for fair play for a number of local companies affected after a Kerry contractor went into examinership last January.

It is understood that one of the companies is owed around €1.2m while another is facing the loss of up to €55,000.

The five companies have written to Deputy Cahill asking him to raise the issue.

The issue arises after Denis Moriarty, The Kerries Ltd, Monavalley Business Park, Tralee, went into examinership in January, exiting in April.

The company has been operating at Cappawhite B Windfarm, Milestone, Thurles, since August 2017 as the main contractor for ABO Wind AG, a multinational corporation who are among Europe’s leading developers of renewable energy projects, and have business interests worldwide.

According to a letter from the companies to Deputy Cahill, they were advised on January 15 that the company had sought the protection of the High Court through the examination process and that their debt with them up to that point would be dealt with by the examiner.

"We were requested by Denis Moriarty, The Kerries Ltd, to continue to provide goods and services from January 15 onwards in order to complete the project and have been paid for all invoices since that date. However the debts prior to January 15 remain unpaid," they state.

The company exited examination on April 24, with the backing of an outside investor. A scheme of arrangement with the investor was passed offering 1.75 per cent of debt to all unsecured creditors.

"This has resulted in several local businesses being left with substantial debts unpaid. Local companies and local jobs are now at risk as a result of this arrangement," they state.

The local firms point out that ABO Wind AG made a profit of €8.8m in 2017 on a turnover of €73.9m, and claim the company will make a profit of €1.5m profit per year from the Cappawhite site.

"We are of the strong opinion that ABO Wind AG should be required to offer compensation to the local businesses involved, who continue to supply goods and services to Denis Moriarty, The Kerries Ltd, in order to complete the work at Cappawhite B Windfarm," they said.

And they claim there is precedent for such an arrangement as a company involved in a separate windfarm project in Cork where Denis Moriarty, The Kerries Ltd, had been working made payments to the local suppliers left with unpaid debts due to the financial difficulties of Denis Moriarty, The Kerries Ltd.

Deputy Cahill told the Tipperary Star that he intended raising the issue in the Dail as he deemed the current ways of dealing with examinership to be unfair.

"It is unfair that they should only get 1.75 per cent of their debt back. We need to change the law and that's what we will be looking for," he said.

"ABO Wind AG is a multinational company making huge profits, but it is the local subcontractors who are suffering," he said.

"The local companies are hoping that ABO will stump up and ease take care of their debts," said the Fianna Fail TD.