IT was business as usual at Lyrath Estate Hotel on the outskirts of Kilkenny city at the weekend despite the appointment of a receiver to the luxury hotel which is estimated to have debts of around E50 million. However, it is understood that the hotel has been trading well and while it is making money on its day-to day running, the huge bank debt was crippling it.
The Bank of Scotland appointed Kieran Wallace of KPMG as receiver to the hotel. The property was owned originally by the Tupper family and bought by Mr McAulliffe and two partners from businessman, Paschal Phelan for E5.8 million.
Mr McAulliffe also owns the hugely successful River Court Hotel in Kilkenny city and this is completely unaffected by the appointment of the receiver and the debt is secured against the property at Lyrath.
The receiver intends to keep the hotel running and to leave the current management, led by Patrick Joyce, in place. No jobs were lost as a result of his appointment.
The hotel has 137 bedrooms and plans for a golf course were shelved while it has an internationally renowned spa as well as a1,500 seat convention centre.