A receiver has been appointed to P Elliott, one of the country's ten largest construction firms.

The Construction Industry Federation said the move would threaten the viability of hundreds of sub-contractors and suppliers owed huge sums of money.

They warned that hundreds of jobs could now be at risk.

The CIF called on the Government to urgently enact legislation to ensure large firms paid sub-contractors immediately.

The P Elliott group employed 230 people at the end of 2009, but had laid off most of its staff shortly before Easter.

Recent projects included a contract for the Department of Defence, as well as work at St Patrick's Teacher Training College in Drumcondra.

It also redeveloped the former Irish Times building in Dublin's D'Olier Street.