Receiver appointed to Lynch Group’s flagship hotel

A RECEIVER has been appointed to the Lynch Group’s flagship and longest established hotel, the West County Hotel in Ennis.

Documents lodged with the Companies Office confirm that Declan McDonald of PWC has been appointed as receiver by Allied Irish Bank to West County Hotel (Ennis) Ltd.

One hundred people are employed at the 152-bedroom hotel, which has conference facilities to cater for 1,000 delegates.

The move follows Bank of Scotland last week appointing Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton as receiver to two other Lynch properties where 150 people are employed: the Breaffy House Resort in Castlebar, Co Mayo, and the Clare Inn Hotel Suites.

West County Hotel (Ennis) Ltd is the parent entity of the Lynch Hotel Group and the documents show that Mr McDonald was appointed receiver on Friday last, January 28.

However, SIPTU Hotel sector organiser, Pat Ward, said yesterday that the group’s two Limerick hotels, the South Court Hotel and The George remain in the control of the Lynch Group and the West County Hotel is the only property affected by the appointment of the receiver.

Mr Ward said: “We have been given assurances by the receiver that it is business as usual at the West County and they are in the process of appointing a management company to manage the hotel.”

Bank of Scotland has appointed Pat McCann of Maldron Hotels to manage the Breaffy House Resort in Castlebar and the Clare Inn Hotel Suites.

Mr Ward said yesterday that he has held meetings with representatives of the receiver; the chief executive of the Lynch Group, Michael B Lynch and staff.

Mr Ward described as “constructive” a meeting yesterday with PWC representatives on the future of jobs at the hotel.

He added: “The receiver is quite optimistic that with a management company in place that the hotel has a bright future. There was not very much Michael B Lynch could say as the receiver now has control of the hotel.”

Michael B Lynch’s father, Michael Lynch, established the West County Inn as it was then.

The latest accounts for West County Hotel (Ennis) Ltd to the end of December 2009 show it had accumulated losses of €21.2 million with bank loans totalling €19.6m.

The documents show AIB had personal guarantees of €323,000 from the company’s directors; unlimited and miscellaneous guarantees from the company’s directors; a mortgage debenture over West County Hotel (Ennis) Ltd and a legal charge over the leisure centre and bedroom extension in the West County Hotel.

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