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Controlled Demolition seeks backing to sue client and pay off Irish subbies


CONTROLLED Demolition is planning to sue the company behind Ireland's biggest regeneration project for up to £1 million if it gets the backing of its biggest creditor on the job, Northern Ireland based subcontractor Access & Support.

Wakefield-based Controlled went into administration last September after financial backer 3i, which owned 40 per cent, withdrew its support.

The firm was resurrected hours later when its name and assets were sold to Linkway Manufacturing, leaving around 500 subcontractors - including the Irish firms - out of pocket to the tune of £15 million.

Controlled carried out a £4 million contract to demolish the 15-storey McDonagh Tower for Ballymun Regeneration as part of a £1.7 billion overhaul of the rundown Ballymun area of Dublin.

The basis of the case against BRL is understood to relate to a 20-week delay on the job after Controlled's contract with the client was altered 'on a number of issues' and the scaffolding designs were changed.

Controlled Demolition managing director Darren Palin told local Irish MP Deputy Pat Carey that if the company wins the case, all the Irish subcontractors would be paid.

Mr Carey said: 'There is some high stakes poker being played out on this. Mr Palin is dependent on the co-operation of ASL.' Mr Palin and ASL were unavailable to comment.

Mr Carey is due to meet with the Irish subcontractors owed nearly £700,000 by Controlled to advise them to hold fire on any action pending the outcome of the court case.

He said: 'We will need to make a judgement at some point but the Irish are as entitled as the English creditors to their money, according to European cross-border insolvency laws.' Ernst & Young joint administrator Simon Allport has told unsecured creditors they will get nothing from the companies in administration, CDG Realisations and Controlled Group Holdings.