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New Mansfield blow as he loses second hotel -- and drink-drive son guilty

ANOTHER luxury property run by Jim Mansfield has gone into receivership, as one of his sons was convicted of drink driving for a second time.

A receiver has been appointed to the Finnstown Country House, which Mr Mansfield bought in 2007 for an estimated €50m.

The Lucan, Co Dublin, property is surrounded by 45 acres and the business employs 55 people. It comes after a similar move was made against Mansfield's HSS Developments, the company behind the Citywest hotel, golf and convention centre complex.

Martin Ferris, of Ferris Associates, was appointed receiver in both instances.

To add to the family's woes, Jimmy Mansfield Jr -- an ex-boyfriend of model Katy French -- was put off the road for two years for drink driving.

He was also fined €1,000 for the incident, which happened less than two weeks after he was caught drink driving for the first time.

Mansfield Jr (43) had denied the charge, his defence centring on procedures followed by gardai following his arrest in south Dublin last October.

Dublin District Court heard the accused had got into a silver Porsche Coupe with another man who had also been drinking and was insisting on driving.

However, Mansfield ended up behind the wheel and was pulled over within minutes by gardai. Mansfield Group CEO Sean Whelan told how he was among a group who went for drinks after the function and was "horrified" to see Mansfield Jr driving the other man's car.

The defence maintained the arresting garda went to speak to Mr Whelan at Harcourt Terrace Station when she should have been watching Mansfield to make sure he took nil by mouth while waiting for a breath test. The officer denied this.

Convicting Mansfield, Judge John O'Neill said he accepted the arresting garda's version of events and added: "The (breath test) reading was low but not low enough."



BROKE

In relation to the Mansfield family's business empire, the receiver was appointed by Bank of Scotland (Ireland).

Finnstown Country House is owned by FTC Hotel, a company connected with Jim Mansfield's Mansfield Group.

As with Citywest, Mr Ferris has appointed Dalata, a hotel operating company headed by former Jurys Doyle chief executive Pat McCann, to run the hotel. It is thought Mr Mansfield's business owes Bank of Scotland (Ireland) about €180m.

Relations between the company and the bank broke down in recent months.

hnews@herald.ie


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