Business Irish

Sunday 19 November 2017

How rugby legend 'The Claw' lost his grip on his pub as bankruptcy loomed

Peter Clohessy in his pub Clohessy’s Bar in Limerick in 2011. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
Peter Clohessy in his pub Clohessy’s Bar in Limerick in 2011. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Rugby legend Peter Clohessy has been declared bankrupt.

The former Munster, Ireland and Lions player has had difficulties in the past with his business ventures, including the iconic Clohessy's Bar in Limerick, which closed in 2014 after 13 years of trading.

The popular player, nicknamed 'Claw', finished his often controversial rugby career in 2002, playing against France in the Six Nations in his final match. The prop made his first international appearance in 1993.

He was involved in a number of businesses, but his Clohessy's Bar was perhaps the most widely known. An adjoining nightclub, Sin Bin, also closed in 2014. The company behind the venues had racked up significant losses prior to the outlets being closed.

Mr Clohessy co-owned the venues with investors that included businessmen from Cork. He had also continued to co-own Crokers Bar and Restaurant in Murroe, Co Limerick.

But his 35pc stake in the firm behind that venue - Crokers Bar & Restaurant Ltd - has now fallen under the ownership and control of an official bankruptcy assignee.

Clohessy playing for Ireland. Photo: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE
Clohessy playing for Ireland. Photo: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE

The latest set of publicly available accounts for Crokers Bar & Restaurant show that it made a €50,000 profit in 2014, but had a shareholder deficit of almost €700,000 at the end of that year.

An official bankruptcy assignee has the power to investigate the full extent of a bankrupt's property, and to sell or otherwise dispose of that property and distribute the proceeds to creditors.

Efforts to contact Mr Clohessy yesterday were unsuccessful. A notice this week in 'Iris Oifiguil' - the Government's official gazette - records that Mr Clohessy was declared bankrupt on January 23 in the High Court.

"The bankrupt is required to make full disclosure of his property to the court," it notes. "Creditors may prove their debts and choose and appoint a creditors' assignee."

As with all bankruptcy cases, anybody who possesses or controls any money or other property of the bankrupt must pay or deliver it to the official assignee.

The bankruptcy process here now normally lasts a year and a bankrupt is debt-free from the moment their bankruptcy begins.

Mr Clohessy, who turns 51 next month, was capped 54 times for Ireland and is one of the enduring figures in rugby.

In 2014, his wife Anna Gibson-Steel launched a book called 'Life With the Claw'.

The book was released just weeks after the closure of Clohessy's Bar. "Limerick and all of our friends have been absolutely phenomenal in their support over the last few weeks," said Ms Gibson-Steel at the book's launch. "It is overwhelming. I think that is what makes Limerick and Munster such a special place to live."

Irish Independent

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