herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Concession-holders at Clerys to receive €654k payout from liquidators

Denis Forde pictured with his family, Nina and their children Jack (1 and a half) and Owen (5 mths) at their Crumlin home ast night.
SEE FIONA DILLON COPY
Denis Forde pictured with his family, Nina and their children Jack (1 and a half) and Owen (5 mths) at their Crumlin home ast night. SEE FIONA DILLON COPY

There was some good news just before Christmas for around 50 Clerys concession-holders who will share a payout of some €654,000.

The High Court yesterday directed the joint liquidators of OCS Operations Ltd - former operators of Clerys - to pay out the money.

The court heard that an estimated €1.4m is owed to the concession-holders. It is six months today since the store closed.

Giving his reaction, Denis Forde, the owner of John Adam hair and beauty services which now operates in the Ilac Centre, said it was a start.

He and his wife, Nina, ran the popular hair salon in the department store.

"We were owed approximately €57,500," Mr Forde told the Herald.

He said he did not yet know how much they will receive.

"I don't know how it's going to be divided out," he said.

Mr Forde said they have moved on with their lives.

"We're opened in the Ilac Centre now, and it was just through dedication and hard work that we managed to get there," he said.

The dad-of-two said he does not know when the funds will be released.

"The quicker the better," he said. "Put it like this - I won't be opening any bottles of champagne tonight anyway."

Valid

Mr Forde said he hoped to hear more details next week.

Until its liquidation last June, OCS Operations Ltd had operated Clerys Department Store and Warehouse since 2012.

During the High Court case, the liquidators sought directions from the court, including whether the concession-holders have a valid trust claim to funds held in the bank account of OCS Operations, in cash, or in credit card receipts at the date of the liquidation.

Jeremiah Healy, for LS Catering, a company that operated a restaurant in Clerys from 1992, said OCS had engaged a payment system where all trade receipts were lodged into one bank account.

The system where concession-holders "were paid for this week's sales with last week's proceeds" was effectively "a Ponzi scheme", counsel said.

The court was asked to make orders allowing the liquidators to make payments to the concession-holders. Mr Justice Donald Binchy said he was satisfied to do so.

Creditors included inter-company loans of some €5.8m, €1.4m to concession holders, €613,000 to trade creditors and €472,000 to Dublin City Council in commercial rates.

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