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Insolvency expert appointed to hotel after gangland hit

regencyAN insolvency expert has been appointed to the Dublin hotel which was the scene of a gangland murder last year.
David Byrne was gunned down inside the Regency Hotel last February.
 
Two Strabane men, Michael Barr and Kevin Murray, have since been linked to the killing which sparked a bloody feud between the rival Kinahan and Hutch cartels.
 
Michael Barr was himself shot dead following David Byrne’s murder. The 34-year-old was working in the Sunset House pub he managed on Dublin’s Northside when he was targeted.
 
Kevin Murray, who is fighting extradition to the Republic where he is wanted for questioning, has just been granted bail.
Gardai believe the 46-year-old played a key role in David Byrne’s murder however due to his deteriorating health, they have not been able to speak with him.
It is understood Mr Murray is receiving around-the-clock medical care after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
In Dublin last week the High Court heard how insolvency expert Neil Hughes had been appointed as interim examiner to the Regency Hotel.
Director of Regan Development Ltd, which trades as the Regency Hotel Group, James McGettigan, said that the hotel had suffered immense reputational damage and loss of business in the weeks following the shooting.
Counsel for the family-owned company previously estimated the shooting had cost the business hundreds of thousands of euro. The hotel had to shut for several days to facilitate the Garda investigation. Examinership allows companies breathing space of up to 100 days to restructure their debts, if they can convince the court that their business is potentially viable.
At the latest court proceedings, Regan Development Limited said the court’s approval for the interim examinership would allow it time to reach a scheme of agreement with its creditors.
While the Regency has been able to trade since last year’s murder, it is understood a planned rebranding – potentially including a change of name – has been delayed as a result of the financial situation.
A spokesman for the hotel denied the fatal shooting was a factor in the appointment of an interim examiner.
“There was a drop-off in bookings initially and the shooting was a hit to them, but it has traded well since then,” he said.
Rather, the appointment of the examiner was prompted by the calling-in of a debt – believed to exceed €20m – owed by the company’s guarantor Regan Development Ltd.
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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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