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Jobs saved 1st Circuit Court exam case

Wednesday, July 09 11:10:06

Celbridge Playzone, a children's play centre operating in Kildare, today became the first company in Irish history to exit examinership through the circuit court system, saving 33 jobs.

The scheme of arrangement proposed by the company's examiner, Joe Walsh of Hughes Blake, was approved by Judge Gerard Griffin in Naas Circuit Court. As a result, the jobs of all 33 of the company's employees were saved and the company has been placed on a sound financial footing for the future.

Until now, all previous examinerships have taken place in the High Court - something which involves travel to Dublin for a company principal as well as higher costs. The Circuit Court system is more accessible to enterprises based outside the capital and the overall process is less complex and therefore can be entered into at a lower cost.

Commenting on the outcome today, Mr Walsh said: "Celbridge Playzone is an important local employer and a fundamentally viable business. The company accessed the examinership recovery mechanism outside the High Court in a historic legal first and today emerges from the process with a secure financial structure that will enable it to trade into the future. The ability to access the process within a Naas court meant that the examinership process became a viable option for this local business."

"The dominant narrative for enterprise in Ireland is a return to growth, but for the many Irish companies that have yet to address their legacy debt issues, the availability of formal restructuring in the circuit court serves as a potential route to ensure long-term survival for viable companies. It is likely that in the wake of today's judgement, a large number of SMEs around the country that would otherwise be destined for insolvency can now look to the process to help protect their business and their employees' jobs," he concluded.