Friday 24 November 2017

Bank asks High Court to appoint receiver over contents, fixtures, and fittings of well-known Galway hotel

Dublin's Four Courts
Dublin's Four Courts

By Aodhan O'Faolain

Bank of Scotland today asked Mr Justice Tony Hunt in the High Court to appoint a receiver over the contents, fixtures and fittings of the well-known Forster Court Hotel, which employs 34 people and is just off Eyre Square, in Galway.

The bank claimed  that sale of the contents would help the receiver, already appointed over the hotel itself, realise the maximum value of the hotel which he  intended to sell and which was valued at €2.75m.

Judge Hunt heard the hotel had been in receivership since 2012 but had continued to trade.   While the hotel owner Ronan Lawless had not brought any challenge against the receiver's appointment he was nevertheless unhappy with the receivership and was opposed to the hotel being sold. 

The court, in an ex-parte hearing where only one side was represented, was told the bank had loaned more than €12m to Lawless, of Newcastle, Galway in 2007. The loans were used to purchase and fit out the hotel and service loans had been taken out with another bank.

Bank of Scotland claimed Lawless defaulted on those loan agreements and it had secured judgment for €14.7m against him.  The receiver wanted  to sell the hotel and reduce Lawless's  debt to the bank.

Judge Hunt said he was prepared to appoint a receiver over the contents of the hotel but, on the basis of Mr Lawless’s objections, he put a stay on the receiver from  acting on his powers until Mr Lawless was given an opportunity to come to court and voice any concerns or objections he might have.

The Judge adjourned the matter until after the Easter holidays.

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