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Target Express Cease Trading

Revenue Commissioners

Target Express, the trading name for College Freight, is just one of an expected five or six large haulage companies, which will cease trading before Christmas, according to Eoin Gavin the president of the Irish Road Haulage Association.

Target Express ceased trading yesterday with the loss of 398 jobs, claiming that the company was forced to closed because of ‘tough tactics,’ adopted by the Irish Revenue Commissioners. The company had been in business since 1988 with big named clients which included A-Wear and Smyth’s Toys & is currently the main sponsors of the Tyrone Gaelic football and hurling teams. The company claims it was forced to cease trading yesterday when the Revenue froze its bank accounts, thus disallowing payment to known creditors & its workforce.

The company has a network of depots and hubs nationally, including rented space at the Germinal Seeds plant near the Horse & Jockey, Thurles, here in Co Tipperary.  Around 300 of jobs lost are based in Southern Ireland with the remainder in the North.

The companies managing director Mr Seamus McBrien claims that the Revenue Commissioners rejected, yesterday, a deal which would have seen the company pay off a further €175,000 of their overall outstanding liability of €300,000 & because of this action 398 people had lost their jobs as a result of Revenue insisting on receiving the additional €125,000.

However, based on previous stances by the Revenue Commissioners in dealing with similar companies which are found to be non compliant & defaulting taxpayers, these same companies are viewed correctly as competing unfairly and in an unfair environment. Revenue are aware, from bitter experience, that usually non compliant traders end up destroying the businesses of other law abiding competitors who remain fully compliant and meticulous in carrying out their everyday financial responsibilities.

However Target Express company employees, now forced to apply for social welfare at the full rates, will cost us, the taxpayer, at least an estimated €2.9million, over the next 12 months.

The issues of dealing with non tax compliance, particularly in the light of recent cases already highlighted in the media, e.g. Mr Paul Begley of Begley Brothers, Mr Sean Hartigan of Prestige Recycling, Mr Mick Wallace TD, & now Target Express, must surely raise considerable national debate, in the interests of employees, fair trading, our Irish State and my opening statement.


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