Tuesday 20 March 2018

Receiver secures High Court orders to secure possession of Wexford Hotel

A director of the hotel, Mr Robert Roche, earlier this week re-entered and took possession of the premises, the court heard.
A director of the hotel, Mr Robert Roche, earlier this week re-entered and took possession of the premises, the court heard.

By Aodhan O'Faolain & Ray Managh

The bank appointed receiver of a Co Wexford Hotel has secured several temporary High Court orders directing the owners to hand over possession of the property.

Insolvency practitioner Kieran Wallace, who is the receiver of the Hotel Saltees, in Kilmore Quay, sought the injunctions after a director of the hotel, Mr Robert Roche, earlier this week re-entered and took possession of the premises.

Mr Roche's actions, it was alleged, amounted to a trespass on the hotel, which is not currently trading, it was claimed.

Today at the High Court Mr Justice Bernard Barton granted Mr Wallace several interim injunctions against Mr Roche and Saltees Hotel (Wexford) Ltd allowing Mr Wallace to re-take possession of the hotel.

The court also made orders preventing any agent of the hotel and Mr Roche from trespassing on the property. The defendants were further ordered to hand over any keys or alarm codes of the hotel they have to the receivers.

Mr Roche, who denies any wrongdoing, had urged the court not to grant the injunctions. He agreed to comply with the orders. The judge adjourned the matter to a date next week.

James Doherty Bl for Mr Wallace said his client, who was "validly appointed and is entitled to possession" was seeking the injunctions due to concerns the property could be damaged. Counsel said since Mr Roche's re-entry individuals were seen removing things from the hotel. 

There was also an issue relating to the insurance of the property.

Counsel said that earlier this week a security firm for the receivers took possession of the hotel.  However counsel said after that Mr Roche was seen by security staff  "smashing down a door" in order to get into the hotel.

Counsel said Mr Roche, after being approached by security staff, then went to the rear of the property and broke windows with a bar. Mr Roche then got onto the hotel's roof. 

Counsel said Gardai were called. On arrival they told the security staff to stand down. The Gardai, counsel said, stated they would not act against Mr Roche until a Court order granting the receiver possession of the hotel was made.

Counsel said Mr Wallace was appointed as receiver by Investec Bank after the hotel's shareholder, a company called Glynn Properties Ltd which is also linked to Mr Roche, failed to satisfy a demand for the repayment of loans totalling €1.17m.

The loans were advanced by the bank in 2005 to Glynn Properties, which put up the hotel and its fixtures as security, Mr Doherty added.

Mr Roche, who represented himself, opposed the application, and denied the claims. 

He denied damaging the property said he entered the hotel in the presence of a Garda.

He said windows were broken following "a scuffle" involving the receiver's security staff. He said items were removed from the hotel's kitchen by the parties who own them.

He added that a number of picnic tables were taken away "for maintenance." 

He said he was not informed of the receivers appointment and in 2012 made a complaint against the bank to the Gardai concerning the loan.

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