Business Irish

Sunday 19 November 2017

State has Convention Centre takeover plan

FIACH KELLY

THE high-profile National Convention Centre in Dublin could be taken over by the State if its owners go bust.

The Dail Public Accounts Committee (PAC) heard yesterday that there were contingency plans in case Treasury Holdings loses ownership of the development.

The centre is a public-private partnership, with the State providing €40m in 2010.

Treasury is currently locked in a court battle with NAMA, which wants to place it in receivership.

NAMA has called Treasury -- controlled by developers Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett -- "hopelessly insolvent" and TDs questioned whether the court battle will have an effect on the State's contribution to the centre.

Office of Public Works chairwoman Clare McGrath said the centre -- which last year hosted a concert held for Queen Elizabeth, as well as the IFTA awards last month -- is performing well and is a valuable asset.

But she said the contract signed by the OPW is "robust" and contains a "step-in" clause for the State.

Irish Independent

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