Northern Ireland

Building company John Turley and Co in liquidation

A County Down building firm which had been in business for almost 40 years has gone into liquidation.

John Turley and Co, which was based in Downpatrick, worked on some major projects during the property boom including apartment blocks in Belfast.

The company went into voluntary liquidation earlier this month owing more than £1m to its creditors.

A related company, Turley Properties, is still solvent.

In its last filed accounts for the year ending May 2009 John Turley and Co showed pre-tax profits of £9,000 on turnover of £10m. At that time it employed 41 people.

Among the largest creditors of the firm is the Northern Health Trust which is owed £366,000.

A spokesperson for the Northern Trust said: "This sum represents the total costs that the trust expects could arise as a result of the collapse of Turleys.

"Approximately £73,000 has already been incurred and the balance represents the potential costs that could arise from the trust needing to replace the contractor."

The construction sector in Northern Ireland is still mired in a deep recession following the property and banking crises.

Government figures published last week showed that output in the sector fell by 13.5% in the first three months of 2011 compared to the same period last year.

John Armstrong, managing director of the Construction Employers Federation, said the figures showed "in painful detail" just how hard the construction industry has been hit by the recession.

He added: "Construction output in Northern Ireland for the 2010/11 financial year was £2.5bn. This is almost £1bn less than output in 2007/08.

"The speed and magnitude of this fall in one of Northern Ireland's core industries has sent shockwaves throughout the whole local economy."