Ballynahinch Castle reports strong summer with rise in US and European visitors
Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara has notched up one of its best summer seasons, with an increase in visitors from the United States, Europe and Ireland, according to its general manager, Patrick O'Flaherty.
The hotel is owned by billionaire businessman Denis O'Brien.
He acquired the four-star property, set on 450 acres, in 2013 for about €6m. It was then extensively renovated and reopened its doors in April last year.
The 18th Century property was previously owed by US businessman Raymond Mason and his wife.
About €2.5m was spent upgrading the Co Galway property in 2014, and a further €3.5m in 2015. It employs about 50 people.
Niall Geoghegan, a former Jurys Doyle chief executive who co-founded Dublin-based hotel management firm Pembroke Hospitality, is chairman of Yelsea, the company behind Ballynahinch Castle.
Accounts just filed for Yelsea show that it recorded a €156,000 loss in the 16 months to the end of 2014. The accounts for Yelsea only include eight months during which the hotel was actually operational after its refurbishment. Mr O'Brien's wife, Catherine, is also director of Yelsea.
The accounts also show that at the end of 2014, Yelsea owed almost €7.5m to a Cypriot company called DNA Event Design, a firm controlled by Mr O'Brien.