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Morrissey’s Quarry proves once again banks are the Holy Grail of government policy; with every other sector the poor relation - Tóibín

24 June, 2014

Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibín TD today secured a Dáil debate on the appointment of an interim examiner to the Morrissey’s Quarry in Carlow.

Speaking in the Dáil the Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Spokesperson said:

“Over the last three years I’ve highlighted time and again the plight of functioning businesses and debt distress. Morgan Kelly sent out a warning shot a number of months ago with regards the challenge of debt distress amongst SMEs.

“SME debt distress is a real problem. SMEs with a functioning business model are being closed as a result. Other businesses are trapped in a spiral of retrenchment or paralysis as a result of a millstone of debt. This reality acts as a significant brake on potential growth.

“It appears the banks are the holy grail of Irish government policy, and every other sector is the poor relation. Everything is built to ensure that they survive and solid businesses are paying the price.

“Morrissey Quarry in Carlow is the latest victim, a company with 130 staff on its books and an annual wage bill worth €5 million to the local economy.

“This is a thriving business which finds itself at the wrong end of a chain of credit and lumbered with a number of acquisitions number made in in the early noughties.

“Despite seeking a restructuring of their debt from AIB the bank has refused all efforts and called in the receiver. AIB is in effect closing down Morrissey’s Quarry, a fact that is very hard to swallow given that AIB were saved by taxpayers’ money. It is even more galling when we see companies like INM with far higher levels of debt benefitting from significant debt write downs.

“Government’s hands-off approach to banks treatment of business debt is just not working, it’s bad business and our SME sector deserves better.”

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