Thursday, 11 March 2004

Questions (55)

Billy Timmins


54 Mr. Timmins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the position on the liquidation of IFI; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8009/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

I understand that the liquidation is progressing in an orderly and efficient manner and that considerable progress has been made on the realisation of the company's assets. However, while the company's principal properties at Arklow and Marino Point have been placed on the market, I am advised that it may take some time to sell them.

I also understand that most of the company's obligations to secured creditors have now been settled, while payments to preferred creditors, which would include some amounts due to former employees, have been or are in the course of being made. Unfortunately, it is likely to be some time before any payments can be made to unsecured creditors.

I also confirm that all claims received by my Department to date under the redundancy payments scheme and the insolvency payments scheme have been processed. Similarly, all applications received from employees for payments from the ex gratia fund of €24.5 million, established by ICI and the State, have been processed. Payments from the fund were made by the trustee of the fund in accordance with the basis for distribution determined by him following consultations with employee representatives. This basis for distribution was endorsed by a ballot open to all employees.

The liquidator has, based on legal advice received, admitted as unsecured creditors in the liquidation claims from the employees of the company who have entitlements to enhanced redundancy payments. It must be emphasised that the amount to be paid in due course in respect of such claims is a matter solely for the liquidator and does not imply any commitment by the State to pay enhanced statutory payments. At this stage, I do not expect that the State will receive any payment in respect of its shareholding in the company.