Bon Secours healthcare to take over Barrington’s for €15m

Cork-based Bon Secours Health System is buying private hospital in Limerick

Bon Secours private healthcare group is poised to take over Barrington's Hospital for a reported €15 million.

Cork-based Bon Secours Health System, owned by religious order the Sisters of Bon Secours, was known to have been eyeing the private hospital in Limerick for some time.

Both sides confirmed on Thursday that Bon Secours has agreed to buy Barrington’s Hospital Ltd from its owner and director, surgeon Paul O’Byrne. Reports suggest the price is about €15 million.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) received notice of the agreement this week and said it is investigating the transaction.


Because of the size of the transaction, the commission must first establish that it will not significantly reduce competition before allowing it to go ahead.

It has 30 working days to complete a phase one investigation. If it necessary the commission can then carry out a more detailed phase two probe, which can take up to 120 working days.

Bon Secours chief executive, Bill Maher, welcomed the news. “I have been very impressed with Barrington’s in our review work over the last few months,” he said.

Mr O’Byrne said he was pleased with the news and added that further growth within the Cork group would provide greater opportunities to Barrington’s staff and consultants.

Bon Secours is the bigger of the two companies. It runs private hospitals and healthcare facilities in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Tralee and Limerick.

Its latest accounts show that its operations generated a €1.9 million surplus in 2014, almost 65 per cent less than the €5.4 million it earned the previous year.

Profits fell as revenues were down €2.4 million at €221.3 million while costs rose €1.2 million to €219.5 million. A once-off charge of €1 million for redundancies left it with operating profits of €800,000 for the year.

Insurance drop

The directors’ report, signed by Sr

Goretti Spillane


Peter Lacy

, said a fall in the number of people with health insurance combined with a reduction in the cover that insurers provided hit its business.

However, the company spent €10 million on infrastructure and equipment in all its hospitals during the year. Assets stood at €130 million at the end of 2014.

Mr Byrne founded Barrington's in 1991 in the same Limerick city building that housed the historic hospital of the same name: the old Mid-Western Health Board closed that one amid controversy three years earlier.

Profits at Barrington’s Hospital Ltd grew 35 per cent to €483,667 from €357,947 in 2014. Net assets were €2 million at the end of the year.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas