Copper Face Jacks pays out €45.95m in dividends to owner

Cash reserves at night club business had risen to €63.7m

People queueing to get into Copper Face Jacks night club Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The company behind Cathal Jackson’s storied Copper Face Jacks nightclub in Dublin paid out a dividend of €45.95 million to a related company owned by Mr Jackson last year .

New accounts for the former garda's Copper Face Jacks company, Breanagh Catering Ltd, show that the dividend was paid to its parent company, Breanagh Catering Holdings, Ltd in January 2019.

Mr Jackson moved last July to put the parent company’s financial affairs beyond public scrutiny by making it unlimited.

People dancing in Copper Face Jacks night club on Harcourt Street, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley


Mr Jackson, who turns 65 later this month, set up Copper Face Jacks in 1995 and had seen cash reserves at Breanagh Catering Ltd rise to €63.7 million before the €45.95 million dividend was paid out.


The dividend payment came ahead of a decision to place the Face Jacks business on the market in March of last year. Industry sources speculating at the time that the business might realise €40 million.

However, staff were told in a memo last November that the company was no longer for sale as Mr Jackson “has decided to stay actively involved in the business”.

The memo stated that the decision to put the nightclub up for sale had been made “reluctantly”.

The nightclub is one of the highest profile business casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic and has been shut since March.

No reopening date for the venue has been pencilled in though the hotel that houses the club, the Jackson Court hotel on Dublin's Harcourt Street, is due to reopen next Monday.

The accounts show that the nightclub’s earning power continued in the 12 months to the end of January, 2019 with pre-tax profits falling just 6 per cent to €3.82 million.

Revenues dipped 9.5 per cent to €13.2 million. A breakdown shows that €11.6 million of that was generated in nightclub and bar sales, with €1.5 million from accommodation income.


Numbers employed by the business last year fell to 183, from 196. Staff costs were €850,000 lower at €4.29 million, largely due to pay for directors Cathal and Paula Jackson more than halving €554,764 from €1.28 million.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times