Saturday 23 September 2017

Examiner appointed to hotel that was scene of gangland murder

A garda at the Regency Hotel after last year’s killing
A garda at the Regency Hotel after last year’s killing

Donal O'Donovan and Allison Bray

The High Court has approved the appointment of an interim examiner in a move that will allow the Dublin hotel at the centre of last year's most high-profile gangland murder time to restructure its debts.

Insolvency expert Neil Hughes has been appointed as interim examiner to Dublin's Regency Hotel almost a year after it was the scene of the murder of David Byrne during a boxing weigh-in on February 5, 2016.

The killing, which occurred in broad daylight in the busy and well-regarded Drumcondra hotel, provoked a public and political outcry, and triggered a wave of gangland violence linked to the Hutch/Kinahan feud in the capital.

The family owned company previously estimated that last year's shooting had cost the business hundreds of thousands of euro.

The hotel had to shut down for several days to facilitate the Garda investigation. A number of cancellations were made in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

Examinership allows companies breathing space of up to 100 days to restructure their debts, if they can convince the court that their business is potentially viable.

Regan Development Limited said the court's approval for the interim examinership would allow it time to reach a scheme of agreement with its creditors.

While the Regency has been able to trade since last year's murder, it's understood a planned rebranding - potentially including a change of name - has been delayed as a result of the financial situation.

Last night, a spokesman for the hotel denied the fatal shooting was a factor in the appointment of an interim examiner.

"There was a drop-off in bookings initially and the shooting was a hit to them, but it has traded well since then," he said.

Rather, the appointment of the examiner was prompted by the calling-in of a debt - believed to exceed €20m - owed by the company's guarantor Regan Development Ltd.

Irish Independent

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