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Saturday 20 September 2014

Developer Conlon quits as director of hospital companies

Published 07/11/2012 | 05:00

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DEVELOPER Gerry Conlon has resigned as a director of the companies behind two of the country's best-known private hospitals; St Joseph's in Sligo and Aut Even in Kilkenny.

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Papers filed with the Companies Office show that Mr Conlon stepped down from the boards of Mount Carmel Medical (Kilkenny) and Mount Carmel Medical (Sligo) at the start of this year.

The change was only formally registered at the end of last month, the filings show.

Mr Conlon also stepped down from his position as company secretary of the Mount Carmel Hospital in Dublin in September, but he is still a director of that company.

All three hospitals are part of the Mount Carmel Medical Group created by the businessman.

Mr Conlon remains a director of the parent company that controls all three hospitals, according to papers filed with the Companies Office.

The future direction for the private hospitals has been the subject of speculation since state-owned St James's Hospital in Dublin indicated it had been in talks with the Mount Carmel Group about a possible takeover of the luxury medical facility in Dublin.

The Kildare-based developer is best-known as one of the so-called Maple 10 group of customers of Anglo Irish Bank, who became shareholders in the bank in 2008 when Sean Quinn unloaded part of his controversial 25pc stake in the bespoke lender.

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) has also been in talks with the Mount Carmel group about how to tackle its €50m debt, much of it borrowed from AIB and later transferred to the agency.

Last month, Nama secured a mortgage over the high-profile, private Mount Carmel Hospital in south Co Dublin, the group's flagship clinic.

Control

The move tightened the agency's control over the clinic, giving it a say in any move to sell the Dublin hospital, where it is now first in line if the facility is sold.

The negotiations with St James's Hospital are understood to only involve Mount Carmel Hospital, and there is no record of NAMA registering a charge over the other properties in the group.

Mount Carmel, in the Dublin suburb of Churchtown, is a full-service facility but is best-known to many as the last private maternity clinic in the country.

During the boom it benefited from an unprecedented demand from well-heeled expectant mothers who opted out of the state maternity system in favour of expensive private care.

However, the financial crash has seen a drop in demand for private care, driving Mount Carmel to respond with more affordable packages.

Irish Independent

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