Cullen to close Renault dealerships
TWO of Bill Cullen's Renault dealerships are to close with the loss of 29 jobs.
Citygate Motors, on the Tuam Road in Galway, and Citygate Motors, on the Galway Road in Ennis, Co Clare, are to close their doors from July 2.
The arrangement between the car giant and the high-profile businessman, best known for his role on Ireland's version of 'The Apprentice', is said to have been terminated by "mutual agreement". Both sides refused to comment further when contacted by the Irish Independent yesterday.
Twenty of the jobs will be lost in Galway and the remaining nine in Ennis.
Mr Cullen's two remaining Renault dealerships, in Dublin's Liffey Valley and the Airside Retail Park in Swords, will continue to operate. There are some 60 staff members employed in the Dublin operations.
A joint statement said Renault would separately announce plans to distribute Renault vehicles and parts "in the areas previously serviced by the Bill Cullen Motor Group".
Mr Cullen has been involved with Renault since 1986 when he took over the distribution franchise from Waterford Crystal. He claims to have delivered sales for Renault amounting to €3bn for the last 20 years.
Mr Cullen and his partner Jackie Lavin bought the luxurious Muckross Park Hotel and Cloisters Spa in Co Kerry in 1990. The hotel has been suffering sustained losses.
He was also involved with Forest Healthcare, a residential treatment centre, which went into liquidation last year.
The entrepreneur has been involved with 'The Apprentice' for four series, but TV3 announced last month that it was axing the show.