Bank appoints receiver to Kilkenny’s 5-star Lyrath Hotel

A receiver has been appointed to the five-star Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny by Bank of Scotland Ireland.

Kieran Wallace of KPMG confirmed yesterday that he had been appointed as the receiver of the hotel that was developed by a consortium led by Kerry businessman Xavier McAuliffe.

A spokesperson for Bank of Scotland Ireland refused to disclose how much money Mr McAuliffe owed.

Mr Wallace said that the hotel would be run as a going concern.

“It’s business as usual and the hotel will continue to trade. There will be no change to any of the staff at the hotel and all bookings will be honoured,” he said.

The Lyrath Estate Hotel made a loss of more than €1m in 2009 according to company documents.

It continued to lose money and in 2010 recorded a pre-tax loss of €278,278. According to an auditor’s report filed with the Companies Office the hotel recorded a cash profit of €31,373 in the 12 months to the end of Dec 2010, but a pre-tax loss of €278,278 after taking a non-cash depreciation charge of €309,651 into account.

The complex had been developed at a cost estimated to be in the region of €50m 2006.

Mr McAuliffe owns another hotel in Kilkenny, the Rivercourt Hotel, on the banks of the River Nore in the centre of Kilkenny City.

He is also the head of the consortium behind the GoSafe speed vans. The GoSafe company receives €35,000 a day to keep tabs on speeding motorists.

Mr McAuliffe’s original business was the Spectra chain of photography shops. He founded the company in the Listowel, Co Kerry, in 1970, offering processing services to chemists, and it became a household name by the 90s.

The chain failed to deal with the advent of digital photography and in 2009 it called a meeting of its creditors.


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