46 jobs are saved as Tinakilly House is sold
NEARLY 50 jobs have been saved at a Wicklow hotel after the property was sold as a going concern. The Tinakilly House Hotel, which employs 46 people, was purchased by a consortium led by Gerard Lane who is originally from Co Wicklow and has numerous overseas business interests.
The hotel came to market with a guide price of €1.5m on the instruction of joint receivers Luke Charleton and Niall Coveney of EY. The new owners are set to "restore and refine" the hotel to include a spa and create a country house ambience, said CBRE, who acted as agents for the sale.
Tinakilly House is one of the best known businesses in Wicklow. The hotel's future was thrown into doubt in December 2011 when the property company that owned the business went into receivership with debts of around €60m.
Ulster Bank appointed receivers for three companies owned by builder Brendan Fitzsimons and auctioneer Bill Mulrooney.
The pair had paid a whopping €10m for Tinakilly House in 2007 at the height of the property bubble. Clonsky, the company behind Tinakilly, wrote down the value of its properties to €2.9m in 2010 and had a deficit of around €10.6m at the end of that year.
CBRE said the property enjoyed an "excellent location" in the heart of Co Wicklow, situated on the outskirts of the village of Rathnew.
EY's Luke Charleton was proud that a buyer had been secured for the business.
"In what has been a very challenging time and volatile climate for the hotel industry, it is particularly pleasing to have sold Tinakilly House Hotel whilst maintaining 46 jobs," he said.
The property was originally the residence of Captain Robert Halpin who was the commander of The Great Eastern when it laid the transoceanic telegraph cable between Ireland and Canada in 1866.
Capt Halpin is reputed to have been given an open cheque by the British Government to build Tinakilly House. The house was completed in 1883.
The feature period building which was developed and extended over the years incorporates 51 en suite bedrooms, a function room for approximately 100 guests, a restaurant and four meeting rooms.
The hotel occupies an area of approximately 14.5 acres and includes an adjacent four bedroom residence currently in use as hotel staff accommodation.