THE SLIEVE Russell Hotel, which has seen its profits soar recently, is expected to be the next property formerly owned by the Quinn family to be put on the market, as part of an attempt by liquidators to recover unpaid debts.
The €22.3 million Ballyconnell hotel was taken over by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) in 2011, and in the past year it has reported a doubling of its profits, with the easing of Covid restrictions and the boom in staycation holidays seeing visitors flocking back.
It is understood the IBRC liquidators are now keen to sell off the hotel, which accounts show holds €6.5 million in cash on its balance sheet, to partially settle former Quinn Group debts to Anglo Irish Bank.
If it is put up for sale, it will become one of a string of former Quinn family properties to be put on the market as part of the debt recovery process. Previously sold properties include Buswells Hotel and a number of pubs in Dublin, and a 128-room Holiday Inn in Nottingham.
Meanwhile, earlier this month Quinn Insurance was formally wound up by the High Court in Dublin after being placed into administration 13 years ago.
It is estimated the process of administering the company over that period has cost the Irish state approximately €1 billion.
As part of the court proceedings, it was revealed the administrators who took over the running of Quinn Insurance were paid up to €375 per hour, while millions was racked up in professional fees during the past 13 years.
The Irish Times has seen court filings showing representatives from Grant Thompson – the accounting and consultancy specialist which was appointed to oversee the running of Quinn Insurance – received over €1.9 million between July 2022 and March 2023 for work by its administrators Michael McAteer and Paul McCann, for example.
The paper reported that the accountants’ hourly fees, which were set in 2012, included €375 for partners in the firm, €290 for directors, €265 for senior managers, €165 for managers and €110 for assistant managers.
On top of the administrators’ fees, significant fees paid to others, including legal representatives, were also outlined in the Irish Times’ reporting.
This included how legal firm Maples and Calder had charged €3.3 million during the three month between July and September last year, for work on a legal claim for negligent auditing, which the administrators had taken against Quinn Insurance auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). That action was settled in June 2022 at a cost of €54 million to PwC.
The legal firm also received a payment of €2.71 million last year for VAT and counsel’s fees to unnamed legal professionals.
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