EBS registers €9.4m judgment against developer


PROPERTY DEVELOPER, hotelier and former Fianna Fáil councillor Josie Conneely has had a judgment for €9.4 million registered against him by the EBS.

The businessman, from Ballyconneely, Co Galway, did not want to comment on the matter when contacted yesterday.

Last year, EBS appointed a receiver, Paul McCann of Grant Thornton, to Josie Conneely Ltd, a company associated with the Renvyle Inn and other properties in Co Galway.

The Bank of Ireland has also had a judgment registered against the company. Mr Conneely’s Manin Bay Hotel in Ballyconneely closed some time ago.

The judgment in favour of the EBS is listed in the latest edition of Stubbs Gazette.

Also listed is a €127,000 judgment in favour of Temple Bar Cultural Trust Ltd and against Jonathan Bourke and Eoin Foyle.

The two business partners rent a building in Temple Bar, Dublin, from a State-owned company that houses their restaurant Eden.

A spokesman for the Cultural Trust said the debt related to rent on the building and that he did not want to comment further on the matter. The manager of Eden Restaurant, Mark Matanes, said the restaurant was open and trading successfully, though it was a struggle because of the recession.

Mr Bourke said the judgment arose from a rent arbitration process at the end of which the debt had accumulated. The business was now paying its rent, he said. “Eden is operating very successfully. It has been open for 17 years and it employs 25 people . . . We are trying to survive while paying an above-market rent.”

He said the Government had failed to deal with the issue of upward-only rent reviews and that his landlord was a State company.

He also said that the restaurant had to survive a major construction operation beside it in Meeting House Square last year.

A number of Mr Bourke’s businesses have had judgments registered against them since the downturn in the economy.