Tuesday 22 October 2019

Last-minute bid for landmark Dublin pub

Foley’s Bar on Merrion Row in Dublin
Foley’s Bar on Merrion Row in Dublin
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

THE owner of the well known Foley's pub on Merrion Row fears losing his pub to a rival bid despite successfully forcing a bank-appointed receiver to hand back the business earlier this year.

It is understood an offer in excess of €2.5m has been made for the pub and freehold Georgian building ahead of a hearing at the Examiner's Court tomorrow.

The rival offer has been made by a Monaghan-based businessman, the Irish Independent understands.

Publican Sean Foley hit the headlines in March when he succeeded in regaining control from the banks of his family-run pub, located just around the corner from Leinster House.

RECEIVER

The courts ousted receiver David O'Connor of accountants BDO after finding that there was a broken seal on his "deed of appointment" from the bank.

The receiver had been appointed over debts of more than €4m owed to Bank of Scotland (Ireland).

The decision freed owner Sean Foley to then seek court protection through an examinership under Tim O'Keeffe – who was appointed over the objections of the bank.

The action won Mr Foley widespread support from other under-pressure small business owners.

However, the rival, outside offer for the pub now threatens to scupper his hopes of defying the bank and holding on to his family business through examinership.

Mr Foley is understood to have tabled a much lower offer for the business, based on a multiple of the pub's turnover.

The two offers are being considered by Mr O'Keeffe of accountants Copsey Murray, who was appointed in April as examiner over Belohn Ltd, which owns and operates Foley's Bar and the O'Reilly Bar in Merrion Row.

The examiner is due to report back to the High Court tomorrow on the prospects for the survival of the pub, which has a staff of 20.

Irish Independent

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