Waterford developer files for bankruptcy in New York

Darryl Kavanagh, who owned Harvey’s Bar in Waterford, has debts of $23.4m (€17m)

A Waterford property developer, publican and nightclub owner has filed for bankruptcy in the United States with debts of $23.4 million (€17 million).

Darryl Kavanagh, who owned Harvey's Bar in Waterford, one of the largest bars in the south east, and Mantra nightclub in Maynooth, Co Kildare was declared bankrupt in upstate New York near his home outside Buffalo on November 29th.

Mr Kavanagh lists debts of $9.5 million due to Bank of Scotland (Ireland) and $8 million to the State loans agency, the National Asset Management Agency, through debt acquired from Bank of Ireland. These liabilities are secured on residential, commercial, retail and industrial properties in Co Waterford.

The biggest single debt owing by Mr Kavanagh is a $9.1 million liability due to Bank of Scotland (Ireland) on a personal guarantee he provided on a corporate loan in 2004.


Bank of Scotland (Ireland) seized control of Mantra in 2011 by appointing receiver Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton to Sheff's Limited, the company behind the nightclub.

Mr Kavanagh owes a further $2 million to Danske Bank secured on two industrial units at Airport Business Park in Kilowen, Waterford. The debt includes $1.4 million due on a personal guarantee on company debt.

He owes $540,000 to finance company Lombard Ireland, which seized a Sunseeker Manhattan boat from the businessman in January 2013. Mr Kavanagh valued the boat at about $900,000.

In filings to the US Bankruptcy Court’s West District of New York division, Mr Kavanagh lists assets of almost $4.7 million, leaving him with a deficit of $18.7 million.

The most valuable asset listed by Mr Kavanagh are 12 holiday homes in Dunmore East, Co Waterford, which he says are jointly owned with his wife Rebecca. He values them at $2.1 million.

The father of four said in court filings that he works as a sales director of Ellickson Beverage Systems Ireland, which developed a product called Bev Dok that cleans fizzy drinks dispensers or "soda guns" in bars. The Irish company's directors are Rebecca and Laura Kavanagh, the firm's sole shareholder.

One of the company’s biggest US customers is the TD Garden arena, home to the Boston Bruins ice hockey team.

Mr Kavanagh’s bankruptcy filing says that he is paid $2,275 a month by the company, which also covers average monthly living expenses of $2,100. His average monthly expenditure totals $3,833.

He lived in Maypark Lane, Waterford until May 2013 when he moved to the US. His home address is listed as being in Orchard Park near Buffalo, not far from the Canadian border.

Nama is represented in Mr Kavanagh’s bankruptcy proceedings by McCarter & English, the same law firm acting for the State agency in the Connecticut bankruptcy of property developer Sean Dunne.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent