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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 21 October, 2018
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One of Drogheda's fanciest hotels has been sold and is getting a facelift

The D Hotel was owned by Gerry Barrett, one of the country’s biggest boom-time developers.

A GALWAY BUSINESSMAN who built up a huge property portfolio before the recession has sold the D Hotel in Drogheda.

The building was sold by Edward Holdings, the main company used by Galway businessman Gerry Barrett, for an undisclosed sum to a new firm called Gleann Hospitality Ltd.

Plans were finalised to sell the four-star hotel, which sits on the banks of the River Boyne and employs 70 people, in January. The new owners now plan to “renovate and revamp” key areas in the property, including the bar and restaurant, before the summer.

Built in 2007, the hotel has 104 bedrooms, and also offers facilities for corporate functions and weddings. The day-to-day running of the business will be overseen by long-standing general manager Ciaran O’Donovan.

A spokeswoman for the hotel said that the aim is for the overhaul of the hotel to be completed by May.

“Planning is in the process,” she said. “Business will carry on as usual and all previous bookings will be honoured.”

Gerry Barrett

Barrett was one of Ireland’s biggest developers during the boom. A former maths teacher, he borrowed almost €800 million from several Irish banks, primarily the now-defunct Anglo Irish Bank, to build up a nationwide property portfolio.

The developer ran into trouble during the recession and most of his loans were transferred to Nama. The state bad bank sold 13 of his assets, mainly hotels, to Deutsche Bank last year.

the d hotel exterior The D Hotel

The loans on the assets had a par value had a par value of €778 million, but Deutsche got its hands on the portfolio for a just €97 million, representing a tidy discount of nearly 90%.

Alan Murtagh, previously of Louis FitzGerald hospitality group, will “oversee the transfer and future business of the property”, the spokeswoman said.

Rebrand 

Murtagh is the CEO of Martello Leisure, a firm that is a shareholder in Gleann Hospitality.

Rob Adams and Martin Higgins, from Limerick chartered accountants Focus Consulting, are the directors of Gleann Hospitality, a new company which was just established in November.

Murtagh said that the D Hotel “is already trading at a high level and generating strong international and domestic business”.

“That said, we want to offer our guests a higher standard in food and beverage,” he said.

“As a result, we plan to undertake a complete rebrand and renovation of the current restaurant and bar, making full use of the beautiful riverside terrace by the time the warm weather hits.”

Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Fora.ie

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