The firm behind the Galway Independent newspaper is going into liquidation

The well-known freesheet has been in business for almost two decades.

By Paul O'Donoghue Reporter, Fora

THE COMPANY BEHIND the well-known Galway Independent freesheet newspaper is going into liquidation.

At a creditors meeting earlier this week, the firm nominated Tom Murray of corporate recovery and insolvency firm Friel Stafford as liquidator of Galway Independent Newspapers Ltd, which was set up in 2000.

It is not known for sure if the Galway Independent will cease publication, although at the time of writing the newspaper’s website was down.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Fora.

A spokesman for Friel Stafford said it is uncertain if the paper would be wound up or not.

“We need to realise the value of as many assets as we can so we can get the best chance of recovering money for creditors,” he said.

“As the title of the business is an asset of the liquidator, it will be down to whether anyone chooses to purchase that asset.

“We suspect there may be some interest in it, but there have been no discussions in detail about (a sale) yet.”

Debts

The most recent accounts for Galway Independent Newspapers show that the firm employed 12 people at the end of 2015 between production, sales and administration.

The firm made a loss of about €40,000 during the year to bring its accumulated losses to just over €777,000.

Just under €400,000 was owed to creditors. With everything account for, the firm had net liabilities of about €220,000 at the end of the period.

The directors’ report filed with the accounts noted that the firm had lost money during the year, and had received a discount from a supplier in an effort to help the business continue to trade.

“In addition, the company has a payment plan in place due to reduce debts due to Revenue and some trade creditors. These agreements must be adhered to,” it said.

“The company is also reliant on the support of its bankers, shareholders and the group.”

The Galway Independent is part of a group called Independent Free Newspapers, which also publishes the Cork Independent.

Several local newspapers have recently shut, including the Wexford Echo and the North County Leader, as they continue to grapple with changing consumer habits in an era of online news.

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