FARMERS who say they are owed substantial amounts of money from Edenmore Farm Meats took part in a second protest yesterday ahead of the case coming before the High Court on Monday.
The Lifford-based abattoir ceased trading in 2016 with outstanding debts of around €2.5 million.
In an effort to get the money back they claim they are owed, the farmers successfully petitioned the High Court in 2020 to restore Edenmore to the companies’ register, to wind up its affairs and a liquidator was appointed.
They say at least 100 farmers have been left out of pocket after supplying animals to the company but did not receive payment.
A number of farmers affected took part in the peaceful demonstration yesterday outside the business offices of Donal Gallagher in London.
Mr Gallagher is a director of Edenmore Farm Meats.
Speaking to the Donegal News yesterday, a spokesperson for the farmers said they have vowed to “keep the pressure on”.
“This is the second time in a matter of weeks we have protested and we will continue to do so. We came over on the boat early this morning and we will head back tonight, but it is important for us to be here to keep the spotlight on our case. It’s up before the High Court on Monday to potentially get a date.”
The spokesperson said the farmers are “happy” with how the case is progressing.
“Things have been moving along nicely, we’re very confident and happy with where we are at the minute in terms of the case.
“We have to show we are determined, so we will be back over again in the next coming weeks and months as part of stepping up our campaign.”
It is expected a hearing will take place sometime in 2023.
The farmers decided in 2019 to take the legal route to try and recoup the money they claim they are owed.
They approached Alan Crowe of Crowe McLoughlin & Company Accountants.
The firm guided them and got them an expert legal team. Barrister, Brian Walker came on board at the end of 2019 to work on company restoration.
The three respondents in the case are Donal Gallagher, director of Edenmore, his co-director Robert Burke and Robert Daly who worked as the company’s financial controller.
As part of his legal action, liquidator John Healy wants the three respondents to be disqualified from acting as directors for at least five years and made personally responsible for the debts of the company.
A solicitor representing the directors previously told the Donegal News: “The case is being fully defended by the directors and we expect no liability whatsoever to follow.”
They said the investment made into the company by Donal Gallagher has been an “unmitigated disaster” and that the biggest single creditor who lost money was Mr Gallagher.
They said it is “unlikely that the farmers would have fared better financially (in any material way)” had the company ceased trading any earlier.
“At all times, the directors’ objectives were to safeguard a viable business affording invaluable employment in the locality and to regularise the financial affairs of the Company,” the solicitor stated.
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