Joe Walsh Pilgrimtours put up for sale by liquidator

Tour operator was forced to cease trading because of coronavirus pandemic

Joe Walsh Pilgrimtours Ltd announced last month that it had ceased trading.

Joe Walsh Pilgrimtours Ltd has been put up for sale as part of a provisional liquidation of the company.

The company, which trades under the brand names Joe Walsh Tours, Concorde Travel and Pilgrimages Abroad, announced last month that it had ceased trading.

It cited the State’s current travel restrictions and a failure to agree a payout on business interruption cover with its insurer as the main reasons for its decision to close its doors after 50 years in business.

The company, which employed 30 people, had not traded since March last year, although it had stayed open to process refunds and rebookings.


An advertisement in Friday's Irish Times, placed by joint provisional liquidator Andrew O'Leary of KPMG, flags the sale of the business as an "excellent commercial opportunity".

It describes the company as a "well-established Irish travel provider for holidays and pilgrimages from Ireland and the UK".

It is unclear yet if a likely buyer has been lined up or what sort of price the group might attract.

The High Court last month appointed liquidators to the operator. The court heard its business had been devastated by the pandemic and had, since last year, been forced to halt all its planned tours.

The tours were initially postponed but, as the pandemic progressed, it was not possible to rearrange them. The company concluded it could no longer stay in business and passed a resolution that it be wound up, the court heard.

In 2020 the company recorded losses of €7.5 million. The bulk of its 3,000 creditors are people who had booked and paid for tours. They are owed some €5 million.

It is envisaged that those customers, many of whom are older people, will get their money back by making applications to the Commission for Aviation Regulation.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times