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HMV situation could affect charity single proceeds

There are concerns that an invoice will not be paid, though producer Stephen Macken hopes their charity status will help.

The Hot Press Newsdesk, 16 Jan 2013

As we learn that Deloitte has been appointed receiver of HMV Ireland by High Court, the repercussions of an apparent closure are already being felt.

We have news that €27,000 worth of funds raised from the sale of the charity cover of 'Tiny Dancer: A Song For Lily-Mae Morrison', which hit No. 2 in the charts during Christmas, could be in danger.

The funds were raised for Lily-Mae, a Galway child suffering from Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a rare and extremely agressive childhood cancer of the nervous system.

Producer Stephen Macken, who was instrumental in the release, updated Hot Press this afternoon:

"The invoices were raised after Christmas as obviously the single was a shot at the Christmas No. 1. So I had to wait until I got the final sales figures from the individual HMV stores before I could make invoices. They went in last week.

"Then on Monday evening I logged into Facebook and the first post I saw was from a friend: 'the high street will never be the same. HMV going into administration'. I just thought, 'oh Jesus'."

Macken did notice, however, that no one was mentioning the Irish situation.

"It's a separate entity," notes Macken. "Owned by HMV Group, but still a separate legal entity, and therefore would require its own examinership under Irish law as opposed to being administrated from the UK. And there's been no examiner appointed in Ireland."

Hours later, HMV secured protection from the High Court – meaning that HMV Ireland is now in administration.

Despite the confusion, he is currently hopeful that the fact the single was he registered as a charity with the retailer will help protect that €27,000.

"Whether we get paid or not depends on what type of creditor we are," he continues. "If we are an unsecured creditor, a local supplier, we have as much chance of getting paid as the voucher holders getting to use their vouchers. But when I was talking to Tom Dunne this morning, Newstalk had a insolvency expert on who said that if we were put on the system as a trust or a charity, we are not a creditor. In fact, it's not their money, they were holding the money in trust for us. So therefore the administrator can not use our money for anything. Can not pay investors, bills... our money must be returned to us. It's not their money."

This would appear that this is the case.

"HMV got all the information and they signed the agreement. If that's the case, it's not their money, and we would become a priority. "

Macken is currently awaiting confirmation from HMV but he's sympathetic to the staff's position and stresses how helpful they were to the campaign.

"I'm very, very conscious of the staff because they played a blinder. They followed and took this single and drove it through the tills with great gusto. They became part of the campaign. Giving it prominent positioning, helping customers to find it, literally pushing it on customers. They were 100% behind it. I am very conscious at the moment that those people are looking at their futures, so I can't pick up the phone and contact one of those managers to ask them what the story is with me, when I know they're more concerned about themselves right now."

'Tiny Dancer: A Song For Lily-Mae Morrison' is currently available to download on iTunes and could do with support as the campaign continues.

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