A HOTELIER who helped to raise millions of euro to rebuild areas of Sri Lanka devastated by a tsunami has praised his staff after three of his hotels went into receivership.
Brian Brennan, who has also been described as a "huge supporter" and sponsor of the GAA in Co Wicklow, thanked hotel staff for their support over the past two decades.
Three of the four hotels in the Brennan Group – the Arklow Bay, Clonmel Park Hotel in Tipperary and the Springhill Court Hotel in Kilkenny – have gone into receivership.
A fourth hotel in the group, the Green Isle in Dublin, is not affected and continues to trade as normal.
Hotel Asset Management Services (HAMS), a company set up to manage hotels in trading difficulties, confirmed that it had been appointed to manage the three affected hotels.
A spokeswoman insisted it was "business as usual" at all three hotels and that they would be managed as going concerns.
Mr Brennan said he could not comment on the receivership but that the work of raising funds for Sri Lanka was not affected.
Nor would he comment on the question of continued sponsorship of GAA teams in Co Wicklow.
"I just want to thank all the staff for their support over the last 20 years," he told the Irish Independent.
Four months after the 2004 tsunami, he travelled to Sri Lanka, with €15,000 raised by the Arklow Bay Hotel, in a bid to either source a small project or buy a bus for an orphanage.
In the end, he bought a field for an orphanage and on his return home he set up the Arklow Sri Lanka Orphanage Fund committee.
The fund went on to raise more than €1m to finance a girls' orphanage, which opened in 2005.
Mr Brennan has also been a big sponsor of Wicklow GAA at minor, U-21 and senior level in both football and hurling.