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Irish to launch Controlled probe

The Irish Government is to investigate how local subcontractors were left on the brink of financial ruin when Controlled Demolition went into administration.
Controlled worked on a £5.9 million contract to demolish the 15-storey McDonagh tower as part of the £1.7 billion Ballymun regeneration project in Dublin - the biggest ever carried out in Ireland.

The demolition specialist was paid for its work but the cash never reached its subcontractors.

Representatives for a string of Irish firms together owed more than £400,000 met with their member of parliament for Dublin North West, Pat Carey, on Monday calling for government action.

Mr Carey promised to launch an investigation through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment into the incident.

He said: 'I am not prepared to see this happen and I will highlight it in every way I can. I fully intend to bring this up formally in our houses of parliament. This sends out the absolute worst possible message about how companies have been treated in an area of high unemployment.'

Representatives from Dublin-based Stafford Tower Cranes, scaffolding firm Access & Support, Security 4U and Capital Oil all attended. They brought with them statements from other creditors including Bernard Ward Haulage, KVA Generators, HE Services, Calanan Containers, Swan Plant Hire and JW Hire & Sales.

Stafford Tower Cranes director Orla Broderick said: 'For us what is difficult is that a government body has paid the company which was not within this jurisdiction. The upshot is that a good number of small Irish companies have been left on the verge of ruin.'

Mr Carey has asked for copies of contracts between the client, Ballymun Regeneration, and Controlled Demolition to be passed over to an inquiry.

Ballymun Regeneration managing director Ciaran Murray said that Controlled was paid in full, except for a £40,000 retention and that they were enlisted on a standard form of contract.

Mr Murray said: 'All the legal relationship is between CDG and the subcontractors but I have every sympathy with the firms involved.'

The group met Mr Murray last week to find out if there was any hope of retrieving the money owed to them.

Controlled Demolition managing director Darren Palin said: 'It is still early days in arranging payments to subcontractors but the ability to pay the Irish subcontractors will depend on the outcome of the settlement of the final account by the client.'

Controlled Demolition went into administration last month before the business and the name was sold for £1.93 million to Linkway Manufacturing owner Richard Burt.

Its demise was blamed on the exit of its venture capitalist backer and 40 per cent shareholder 3i.

by Sophie Kernon