The High Court has appointed an interim examiner to water firm Celtic Pure, which was at the centre of recent product recalls.

The Co Monaghan-based provider of bottled drinking water sought the protection of the court from its creditors due to the fall out from two investigations, launched after naturally-occurring arsenic in some of the firm's batches exceeded regulatory limits.

This resulted in two precautionary product recalls, and a partial closure order being made against the company by the Health Service Executive.

The company, which petitioned the court for the appointment of an examiner, said the recall resulted in some adverse publicity for the firm.

Celtic Pure says it is now in full compliance with all health and safety requirements, and its water is being sourced from other locations.

While the closure order has been lifted, and the source of the contamination has been dealt with, the company's business has suffered.

The firms claims that its key retail customers have suspended orders, its monthly sales for August have dropped by 75%, and it has incurred some €3m in unforeseen once-off costs.

The company, which had been successful until the recalls, now says that due to cash flow difficulties it is insolvent and needs protection from its creditors.

At the High Court today Mr Justice David Barniville said he was satisfied to appoint Declan McDonald of PWC as interim examiner to the company, which employs 75 people.

The judge said that an independent expert's report had stated that the firm had a good prospect of survival if an examiner is appointed.

If the examiner can put together a scheme of arrangement with creditors then the company has a good prospect of surviving as a going concern, the judge added.

The steps identified by the independent expert to ensure it can continue to trade include that Celtic Pure obtain fresh investment so it can restructure its debts and provide future working capital.

Other steps include obtaining the continued support of the firm's bankers and suppliers, satisfying all of the HSE and Food Safety Authority's requirements, and regaining customer confidence.

The judge adjourned the matter to a date in September.