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Top publican Hugh O’Regan found dead<br/> in his car


ONE of Dublin's biggest and most high-profile publicans, Hugh O'Regan, has died unexpectedly

The married dad of four (49), whose loans had been transferred to toxic loan agency NAMA following the collapse of his business empire, was found dead in his car in Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow, this morning.

Gardai do not suspect foul play.

Mr O’Regan revolutionised the Dublin leisure sector during the 1990s and 200s with high-end venues that catered to an increasingly affluent clientele.

That all fell apart in 2009, when the collapse of many of his businesses into insolvency ultimately led to the High Court ordering Mr O'Regan to personally pay €37.5m to Anglo Irish Bank to honour guarantees he had given for company borrowing.

The tragic death of the entrepreneur follows the collapse of a business empire that at its height included Dublin's Thomas Read pub groups and many of the capital's most fashionable haunts such as Pravda, the Bailey, Ron Black's, Searson's and Lincoln's Inn.

As well as pubs, O'Regan developed the four-star Morrison Hotel in Dublin and had planned to develop the €10m Hibernian United Services Club on St Stephen's Green and the Kilternan Golf and Country Club close to Dublin city.