Maldron opens first hotel in Belfast

Pat McCann firm also takes on contract to run four-star Clarion hotel in Sligo

The Pat McCann-led Maldron hotel chain has opened its first property in Belfast by recently taking over the 104-bed Park Plaza.

In addition, Mr McCann’s hotel management company Dalata has taken on a contract to run the four-star Clarion hotel in Sligo. This brings to 29 the number of hotels operated by Dalata on behalf of lenders and insolvency practitioners.

In Belfast, the Park Plaza has been rebranded as a Maldron and will operate as a three-star property. Situated close to Belfast International Airport, it was developed by McAleer & Rushe, the construction group behind many of the Jurys Inns hotels that were built during Mr McCann’s time as chief executive of the Jurys Doyle group, which now trades as the Doyle Collection.

Twelve hotels
This brings to 12 the number of hotels in the Maldron chain. All bar two – Belfast and Cardiff – are located in the Republic.


"This is our first property in Belfast but we'd love to get another one if the opportunity came along," Mr McCann told The Irish Times .

He said the Belfast hotel market experienced a “difficult” 2011 but the following year was “slightly better” and it had a “reasonably good” start to 2013.

Maldron has been given a five-year contract to operate the former Park Plaza property, he said.

In Sligo, KBC Bank and the National Asset Management Agency took control of the Clarion last year. It was developed at a cost of €35 million during the property bubble. The Clarion, which has 74 bedrooms and 89 suites, was developed by Galway developer Tom Coyle.

It opened in 2005 on the site of the former St Columba's psychiatric hospital but was placed into receivership last November, with Aiden Murphy of accounting group Crowe Horwath appointed to the role.

Mr Coyle was involved in other projects in Sligo, including student accommodation and residential developments.

Mr McCann said trading for Dalata and Maldron had been good so far this year. “Trade has been good in the first quarter, driven by a strong performance in Dublin,” he said.

Dalata was set up in August 2007 by TVC Holdings and Mr McCann, with equity provided by Davy private clients.

Its Maldron brand was launched in September 2008 and Dalata has taken on a number of management contracts since the economy collapsed, including the Clyde Court and Ballsbridge hotels formerly controlled by developer Sean Dunne, the Citywest complex in Saggart previously owned by Jim Mansfield, and Breaffy House in Co Mayo.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times