Newry contract firm in administration

Published Monday, 22 April 2013
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Around 50 jobs are at risk after contractor Garrivan & O'Rourke was placed into administration.

Newry contract firm in administration
Staff at Garrivan & O'Rourke protest on Monday. (© UTV)

The announcement came as employees of the Housing Executive contractor held pickets on Monday, claiming their wages have not been paid for over a week.

The Newry-based company carries out maintenance work on 10,800 Housing Executive properties in north and east Belfast as well as part of Lisburn.

Unite regional officer Jackie Pollock says employees were left with no choice.

"The company were wanting the workforce to go out today, with no guarantee of payment, salaries for last week. It was totally unacceptable for the workforce to agree to those terms," he explained.

"These people have bills to pay and families to feed."

A NIHE representative said the contractor was experiencing "severe logistical problems".

A statement said: "They are unable to deliver the level of service that we require. This unfortunately means that we are only able to deliver repairs on an emergency and urgent basis at this time through other contractors.

"We are putting in place contingency arrangements with our own Direct Labour Organisation."

But on Monday afternoon, a statement from Garrivan & O'Rourke Ltd revealed it had been placed into administration.

"The continued downturn in the construction sector along with tightening margins in its activities have resulted in increased financial pressures that have proven unsustainable and resulted in the decision by the directors to have the firm put into administration," the statement read.

Employees of Garrivan & O'Rourke, which also holds contracts with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, are due to meet with administrators on Monday.

Administrator John Cavanagh, of Cavanagh Kelly, is in discussion with key organisations which Garrivan & O'Rourke has maintenance contracts with "to discuss how service can be maintained and to minimise any disruption".

© UTV News
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