STAFF of the Whelan Group, with its headquarters in Ennis, were tight-lipped on Wednesday morning following a meeting with the liquidator in the West County Hotel.
Staff declined to make any comment to media as they left the meeting, responding only that they had been requested by the company not to make any comments on the situation to the media.
Last Friday, the High Court made an order winding up five companies in the Whelan Group with the loss of 120 jobs, after the companies’ directors withdrew their petition for examinership. The five companies now in liquidation are Whelan Group (Ennis) Ltd; Whelan’s Limestone Quarries (Contracts) Ltd; Whelan’s Limestone Quarries Ltd; Whelan’s Quarries (Carraigtwohill) Ltd and Shannon Explosives Ltd.
The court appointed Carl Dillon of Moore Stephens Nathans of South Mall, Cork as liquidators. On Wednesday morning, three representatives of that company addressed a meeting of up to 130 staff of the Whelan Group, mainly from Ennis, Limerick and Roscommon. On Tuesday, they met with staff of the Whelan Group in Cork.
A spokesman for the liquidator said they informed staff of their entitlements at the meeting. “As it stands, five companies within the Whelan Group are now in liquidation, including its Ennis operation. They stopped trading as of last Friday, with no work going ahead since then. Companies are being wound down. The purpose of this meeting was to explain to employees what has happened and what their entitlements are. As it stands, employees will get statutory redundancy,” he commented.
He added, it was too early to say what the future holds for the group but that as the situation currently stands “the situation is bleak”.
“We are aware of the awful timing of this, at a very difficult time financially for the whole country and with Christmas coming. It is devastating news for the employees and all involved,” he said.
Representatives of management at Whelan’s were also at the meeting but said that they had no comment to make on the situation, advising that matters were now in the liquidator’s hands.
In the High Court last Friday, the directors of the Whelan Group said they “profoundly regretted” the job losses.