one of Wexford's best-known publicans has been forced out of his pub after bank-appointed receivers moved in.
'It's not the sheriffs, not the bailiffs, there is no court judgement against me by the taxman or anybody else,' said Des Whelan, countering rumours swirling in the town about the reason for the sudden closure of popular pub, the Wicked Swan, in the Faythe.
'For legal reasons I can't say all about what's going on, but as far as I am concerned it was a receiver appointed by a bank who broke into the premises at 6.24 last Tuesday morning. They changed the locks and have been occupying it since,' a shocked Des told this newspaper.
Des said in his opinion what they have done is illegal, adding that his company, Wicked Swan Limited, was currently seeking legal advice.
He said the premises was unoccupied when the receiver moved in and since then the locks have been changed.
Des bought the Wicked Swan in February, 2001, a few months after selling his Monck Street premises O'Faolain's' for a record £1.1m.
He bought the Swan from Bates Oil owner Bill Bates of Ferrybank, who took over the pub from Andy Doyle 18 months earlier. Des, who is as well known for his singing roles with Wexford Light Opera Society, made history in Wexford when his pub in Monck Street became the first to fetch over £1m.
It was rumoured at the time that he paid £345,000 for the Wicked Swan, which became a popular haunt and venue for the singing pubs competition.