The High Court has continued court protection for the companies in the McInerney building group until December 3.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke said he was continuing the protection with considerable reluctance but he said he could not at this stage come to the conclusion that there was not a realistic chance of the examiner coming up with a scheme which could succeed.

But he said there would be very considerable difficulties in coming up with a scheme which would not prejudice the existing banking syndicate who are owed money by the companies.

Bank of Ireland, KBC and Anglo Irish Bank are owed €115m and are opposed to the examinership. Any scheme submitted by the examiner is likely to be strongly contested by the banks.