Closure of Co Antrim kitchen firm hits celebs in the pocket
A number of Irish celebrities have said they've lost thousands of euros after high-end kitchens firm Hayburn Wood Products in Co Antrim went out of business.
Former model Pippa O'Connor and her TV presenter husband Brian Ormond were among those who contacted the Joe Duffy Show on RTE Radio One to say they had lost out after signing up to buy a kitchen from the firm.
The celebrity couple said they were left €3,000 (£2,674) out of pocket by the closure of the Ahoghill company, which has also left between 40 and 60 people out of work.
Celebrity make-up artist Michelle Regazzoli-Stone from Co Meath also told the radio show that she had spent €12,000 on her "dream kitchen"at Hayburn & Co.
The businesswoman behind the Irish Mrs Makeup brand, told the programme how she had driven to Ahoghill last week to find the premises empty.
"I'm absolutely gutted. We have two kids. It's six weeks from Christmas," she said.
Newry-based business advisory firm PKF-FPM, which has been appointed to advise Hayburns, said: "Due to difficult trading conditions, the business has ceased trading with immediate effect.
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"All known creditors, including those customers who have fully paid or paid in part for goods, are being contacted by post."
A creditors' meeting is due to take place at the Belfast offices of PKF-FPM, where it's planned to put the company into a creditors voluntary liquidation.
A large number of the company's creditors are expected to attend the meeting.
Speaking last week, North Antrim MLA and TUV leader Jim Allister said the closure was a "significant blow to the area".
He said: "Of course my thoughts are first and foremost with the staff who have lost their jobs in the run-up to Christmas.
"It is also important to recognise that this will have a significant knock-on impact on the local economy."
Camden Group, another Co Antrim business which makes windows and doors, has said it's also consulting on up to 80 redundancies.