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Hotel owner lashes out at bank-controlled rivals

The owner of the Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa hotel near Clonakilty, Co Cork, has lashed out at NAMA and bank-controlled rivals, saying they are continuing to undermine the industry.

Des O'Dowd, who owns the high-profile property with his wife Ann, said he had to compete against the "vast resources" of banks.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr O'Dowd said that while he had been able to reduce the average rate at his hotel since 2008 by between 20pc and 25pc, properties controlled by banks or the toxic loan agency had slashed theirs by up to 50pc.

The hotel employs about 120 people. This year the owners spent about €170,000 upgrading the back and front of house operations.

Accounts just filed for Inchydoney, which the O'Dowds bought in 2008, show that it recorded a €212,000 loss last year, up from €100,000 in 2009.

Mr O'Dowd declined to elaborate on specific financial details, but it is understood that the hotel trades more or less profitably.

The accounts note that management fees of €643,000 were paid to a partnership controlled by the O'Dowds. That entity, the Lodge and Spa at Inchydoney Island Partnership, is understood to in turn service the loans held over the hotel.

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