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Tuesday 25 June 2019

All pubs in Dublin Airport closed

NIAMH HORAN and JEROME REILLY

Dublin airport was on the dry for the start of the Bank Holiday weekend.

All eight pubs in the airport complex were shut down on Friday night with customers asked to finish their drinks and leave.

A spokesman for the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) said they were hopeful the bars would be open again by late last night.

"The bars at Dublin Airport were closed due the termination of the licence to operate the outlets," he said.

"The DAA withdrew the licence to operate eight bars from Atwell, a company connected to the Thomas Read Group, which is currently in receivership.

"The licence to operate the bars has now been issued to Cavtat Ltd, which was the preferred bidder during the Thomas Read examinership process earlier this year.

"The licence was issued to Cavtat on the basis that it best met the commercial criteria set down by the DAA. The DAA is satisfied that all appropriate procedures were followed in this transaction."

Fianna Fail's Seanad leader Donie Cassidy had a minority stake in Atwell. It is also understood that he has a financial stake in the new operators of the Dublin Airport bars, Cavtat Ltd.

When contacted yesterday morning, Mr Cassidy said he was unable to comment on the matter at this time.

The move comes after a receiver was appointed to the Thomas Read Group of pubs and restaurants last month.

The group was reported last month as having debts totalling €26m.

The group, which employs 400 people, operates 18 pubs in Dublin and owes ACC bank €15.5m.

Among its other large creditors are the Revenue Commissioners which is owed €2m, and AIB, which is owed €4.6m.

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