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Co Tyrone hotel left £1.6m worth of debt after closing down

By John Mulgrew

Published 30/08/2016

The Mellon Country Hotel in Omagh is on the market for £450,000 after going into administration
The Mellon Country Hotel in Omagh is on the market for £450,000 after going into administration

A Co Tyrone hotel famous for hosting country music events left behind debts of more than £1.6m and made all its 30 staff redundant after going bust.

The Mellon Country Hotel in Omagh has been put up for sale for £450,000, after going into administrative receivership.

The 18-room venue, which has played host to a number of country stars like Lisa McHugh, Derek Ryan and Johnny Buckley, is on the market.

Now, a detailed report from administrators Keenan Corporate Finance shows the losses and financial position of the hotel.

It says the hotel was kept open until June 30, but was then shut "due to its loss-making position and the inability to fund working capital". But it said that "all of the employees were made redundant".

It's understood around 30 staff, mainly part-time, had worked at the hotel.

It left behind debts of more than £650,000 to KBC Bank Ireland.

Its biggest debts were to unsecured creditors, amounting to more than £1m.

The bulk of that was a business loan to Liam Duddy, amounting to £970,000.

Other debts include £1,500 owed to Lynas Foods and more than £7,500 to Northwest Liquor.

Administrators say the redundancy claims relating to job losses are thought to be around £15,000.

The administrators said: "We have continued to process outstanding redundancy and statutory entitlements".

The sale process of the hotel is "ongoing". And it says, based on initial estimates, "we do not anticipate that a dividend will be payable to unsecured non-preferential creditors".

A creditors' meeting is now scheduled to take place in Belfast next month.

As well as its 18 en-suite rooms, the hotel, which is on the Beltany Road between Omagh and Enniskillen, has function rooms, a bar and a restaurant.

KBC Bank appointed Keenan Corporate Finance as administrative receiver to the company that owns the hotel, Mellon Country Hotel Limited, in June.

Meanwhile, in Co Antrim, the Curran Court Hotel has gone on the market just weeks after the business was placed into receivership.

The hotel, which is marking 41 years in business, and the Bodega Bar in Larne are now being run by administrators Ernst and Young (EY).

EY is now advertising for potential buyers of the popular spot, which employs 65 people.

It is marketing the hotel as "trading successfully on the Port of Larne with 33 en-suite bedrooms, a large bar and renowned Alexandra restaurant".

It's understood it has been trading well since entering administrative receivership, with bookings being taken.

Customers flooded Facebook with messages of support for the hotel, after it entered administration. The hotel has 33 bedrooms and was run by businessman Crawford Leitch.

EY would not reveal a guide price for the business or how much it was likely to fetch.

It's now seeking new owners for both businesses, along with the buildings and other assets.

There were reports a small number of staff have been let go from the business. However, it's not clear whether there are any redundancies planned following the receivership.

Belfast Telegraph

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