Business Irish

Saturday 10 December 2016

Golf club goes bust with €2.5m debt

Ailish O'Hora Public Affairs Correspondent

Published 03/03/2011 | 05:00

A company part-owned by the Shannon Airport Authority chairman has gone bust after running up debts of over €2.5m.

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Accounts filed at the Companies Office show that Brian O'Connell, the authority's chairman, is a shareholder in Limerick County Golf & Country Club.

His shareholding in the golf and leisure club is held through another company called GMR Leisure Holdings.

Mr O'Connell is one of eight businessmen who are shareholders in the firm.

A spokesman for Dublin Airport Authority, which oversees the Shannon authority, said the investment was separate to Mr O'Connell's chairmanship.

"Brian O'Connell's shareholding in the Limerick County Golf & Country Club is a personal investment and the Dublin Airport Authority has no comment to make in relation to it," he said.

Mr O'Connell did not return calls to this newspaper.

Creditors

The biggest debt of €2.3m is owed to Allied Irish Banks (AIB). Other creditors include the Revenue Commissioners, which is due €75,867.

Liquidator Gearoid Costelloe of Grant Thornton has been appointed to the firm.

An estimated statement of affairs, prepared by the company, showed debts of €2.58m -- 99 unsecured creditors are owed a total of €1.5m. The company ceased trading in January but had been in difficulty for some time.

Apart from the golf club and clubhouse, the 185-acre site had potential development lands, according to the accounts.

According to the most recently filed accounts for the company for end March 2008, its main shareholder was holding firm GMR Leisure Holdings, which held 73pc of the shares in the Ballyneety-based golf club when accounts were last filed.

GMR went into liquidation last week but according to the accounts for the firm, Mr O'Connell held 118,453 ordinary shares in GMR at the end of March 2008 out of a total of just over one million.

Most of the other shareholders had similar shareholdings.

Last year, the golf club lost its affiliation with the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) because of unpaid subscriptions.

The accounts for the club show losses of over €3m for the March year end, while a shareholders's deficit of €1.8m was also reported.

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