High Court appoints liquidator to Dobbins restaurant companies

Survival scheme for Beckett’s Hotel in Leixlip to go before court later this week

A liquidator has been appointed by the High Court to two companies operating the well-known Dublin restaurant, Dobbins, after efforts to finalise an investment agreement failed.

However, it is expected a survival scheme prepared for two other companies operating the 10-bedroom Beckett’s Hotel ion Leixlip, Co Kildare, will be put before the court for approval later this week.

An investment agreement has been negotiated for them and will be put before creditors on Wednesday. If supported by creditors it will then be put before the High Court later this week.

The Revenue Commissioners has indicated it will oppose the survival scheme proposed, the High Court heard today.


Cash-flow difficulties

All four companies, which employ some 60 people, had secured court protection last June due to cash-flow difficulties caused by loss of business contracts and historic bank debt.

The High Court was told today efforts by examiner Kieran Wallace to secure an investor for the Dobbins companies had failed.

Rossa Fanning, for Mr Wallace, said there had been talks with KBC Bank, Dobbins's largest creditor, on funding after a preferred investor for the Dobbins companies had been selected. However, no investment agreement had been reached, he said.

In the circumstances, Mr Fanning said Mr Wallace wished to be discharged as examiner to those companies – Dobbins Holding Company Ltd and Dobbins Wine Bistro Ltd. There was also agreement a liquidator could be appointed to those entities whose directors – Gary Flynn, Fonthill Court, Rathfarnham, Dublin, and Patrick Walsh, Templeroan, Rathfarnham – were previously the restaurant manager and head chef at Dobbins.


On the application of Gavin Simons, solicitor for the Dobbins companies, Mr Justice Brian McGovern agreed to discharge Mr Wallace as examiner of the Dobbins companies and to appoint Andrew O'Leary of KPMG as liquidator of those.

Andrew Fitzpatrick, for KBC Bank, said it had appointed a receiver over the Dobbins companies and was anxious the leasehold property occupied by the restaurant at Stephen’s Lane, Dublin 2, be surrendered to the bank as soon as possible.

The court previously heard the Dobbins and Beckett's Hotel companies – Camrue Holding Company Ltd and Camrue Castering Ltd – had good reputations and a loyal customer base but the fact their assets were acquired during the Celtic Tiger years had left them with a high level of debt.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times