Saturday 29 November 2014

Disputed survival plan for hotel gets court go-ahead

Tim Healy

Published 23/07/2014 | 02:30

Mount Wolseley Hotel and Golf Resort
Mount Wolseley Hotel and Golf Resort

A SURVIVAL scheme for the luxury Mount Wolseley Hotel and Golf Resort has been drawn-up involving a following a €7.5m investment proposal.

However as the High Court approved the plan to refinance the Co Carlow venue with a cash injection from Brehon Capital, it emerged a couple built a nine-foot high frence between the hotel and they house and gardens where they live in a row over the scheme.

A dispute over the investment proposal led to hotel operators, Donal and Breda Morrissey, erecting the fence between the Tullow venue and Mount Wolseley House and gardens, which they own and live in. The court heard the Morrisseys were unhappy after the examiner rejected their re-financing proposals in favour of Brehon Capital.

The Morrisseys claimed there were uncertainties over Brehon's investment proposal.

They said it would have to come up with another €2.37m to provide alternative fire access arrangements for the hotel, and to relocate underground services which run through their (Morrisseys') land.

They also said the ability to run the business as a going concern would be affected, as it would no longer be possible for wedding parties to use the gardens, part of Mount Wolseley House, as a photo backdrop.

Brehon said the cost of alternative fire access arrangements would be not be near the sum suggested by the Morrisseys.

They also argued the affect of the loss of the gardens on hotel wedding business would not be serious as only between seven and 10 bookings annually are likely to be lost as a result.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Kelly approved a survival scheme put forward by insolvency practitioner Ian Lawlor for the hotel, which has been run by the Morrissey family and employs 175.

Unusual

The judge said there were a number of unusual features, including that not one creditor had come before the court to oppose the survival scheme proposed by the examiner.

While the judge said he had sympathy for the Morrisseys, who regarded the business as a family enterprise, it was cold comfort for him to say the court was dealing on a regular basis with many whose family businesses have become insolvent.

The examiner asserted the business had a reasonable prospect of continuing as a going concern under the survival plan, providing certain conditions are met.

In relation to the fire safety certificate, the examiner told the court it can be dealt with.

Irish Independent

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