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Court battle over examinership of one of Ireland's top golf courses

The appointment of an examiner to Druids Glen has been opposed.

Image: golf image via Shutterstock

THE APPOINTMENT OF an examiner to one of Ireland’s top golf courses is to be opposed, the High Court has heard.

Druids Glen Golf Club Ltd which owns and operates the Druid’s Glen Golf Course sought the protection of the High Court two weeks ago after a financial company, which acquired a loan a related company had acquired from Anglo Irish Bank some years ago, appointed a receiver over the 18 hole championship course.

The fund, Gulland Property Finance Ltd, says it is owed some €4.85m by the related company and appointed a receiver over the course, located at Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow, after its demand to be paid what it says it is due and owing was not satisfied.

As a result Druids Glen asked the High Court for an order removing the receiver and have an examiner put in their place.

The matter was briefly mentioned before Justice Caroline Costello on today.

Money borrowed from Anglo

The judge was informed Gulland are opposing the appointment of insolvency practitioner John McStay of McStay Luby Accountants as interim examiner to both Druids Glen Golf Club Ltd and the related company Lakeford Ltd, an Isle of Man registered company.

Lakeford had borrowed the money from Anglo, which were subsequently acquired by Gulland.

Lyndon MacCann SC for Gulland and the receiver said the examinership process will be opposed. The receiver’s counsel said is in the process of finalising a sworn statement outlining their objections and critiquing information that had been put before the court in the application for examinership.

Counsel said Gulland had “the most significant economic stake in the examinership.”

Patrick Leonard SC for Druids Glen said his side would require time to consider and if necessary reply to Gulland’s sworn statement.

The judge adjourned the matter to a date in June.

Irish Open

The course, which employs 36 people, has previously hosted a number of Irish Open Golf tournaments in the 1990s and in 2002 the Seve Trophy- the competition where Ireland and Britain’s top professional men’s golfers take on Continental Europe’s top players.

McStay was appointed after Justice Robert Haughton read a report from an Independent expert stating the company has a reasonable prospect of survival as going concern.

The adjoining Druids Glen Five Star Hotel and a second 18 hole course, the “Druids Heath Golf Course” are not part of the examinership process.

Read: High Court appoints examiner to Debenhams chain>

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Aodhan O Faolain

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