A LUXURY hotel owned by troubled businessman Bill Cullen and his partner Jackie Lavin has gone into receivership.
The five-star Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney, Co Kerry, was placed in receivership, following the appointment of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks as receiver and manager.
The couple, who formerly presented 'The Apprentice' on TV3, lashed out at ACC/ Rabobank accusing it of acting aggressively.
A statement released on their behalf last night said: "Bill and Jackie are very shocked by the aggressive action of ACC/ Rabobank who arrived into the hotel with absolutely no prior warning.
"Only six weeks ago they congratulated us on an amazing job in turning around the hotel into profitability and indeed, that we were an example of how to make a success out of a hotel especially when so many were being closed."
The statement added the couple was committed to the staff working at the hotel and would do all in their power to preserve the 105 jobs at the hotel.
Declan Taite, of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks, was appointed receiver and manager to Muckross Park Hotel Limited, Boisdale Holdings Ltd, Silvermire Properties Ltd and certain assets of Bill Cullen, on Wednesday.
A statement from the receiver said the appointment would not have any impact on current or future bookings and it would continue as normal and maintain employment in the area.
It has also committed to honouring all deposits and gift vouchers and said the hotel would continue to grow its business and revenue over the course of the receivership.
The luxury hotel and spa in Killarney National Park was bought by the couple 20 years ago. It had got into difficulty in recent years but had since turned a corner.
In an interview on the 'Late Late Show' with Ryan Tubridy recently Mr Cullen had paid tribute to his partner, Ms Lavin, praising her business acumen and creativity in turning the business around.
It's been a particularly difficult year for the couple. A receiver was appointed to his company Glencullen Holdings in October. Personal tragedy struck the family soon after with the sudden death of Mr Cullen's youngest brother, Aidan. This was followed a short time later by the death of his sister Rita.