The receiver appointed to run the Achill Head Hotel had the hotel’s licence revived at Westport Circuit Civil Court with the hotel now expected to reopen next summer.
The Achill Head Hotel had been operating for many years on the island and was a popular venue for locals and visitors alike until it closed earlier this year and was closed throughout the summer season.
After a receiver was put in place, there was increased speculation on the island that the hotel would be re-opened in time for Christmas season but the appointed receiver Mark Gibbs revealed in court that they are going to operate it as a seasonal trade and did not expect to open until the summer.
The court heard that the hotel licence with public bar was last held by Mack Head limited and the licence lapsed in September 2011. Mr Gibbs was appointed receiver of the property and explained that he was the receiver to a number of hotels in Galway.
He explained he would be the licence holder but would not be running the hotel and that he was in discussions with up to two people who were interested in leasing and operating the premises.
Judge James O’Donohoe said he had difficulty granting the licence to Mr Gibbs if he was not going to run it and did not have anybody appointed to run it. He said there were strict licencing laws in the country and he was anxious that if he granted the licence there was a risk somebody unsuitable would take over the running.
Counsel for Mr Gibbs explained that when they appoint a person to run the hotel, they will apply to the District Court for an ad-interim transfer but they needed the full licence for that to happen. It would be up to the District Court judge to then decide if a person is suitable to run the hotel, it was argued.
Mr Gibbs said they did not plan to open the hotel until June or July and that remedial work still had to be carried out on the hotel.
Judge O’Donohoe agreed to revive the licence but on the condition it was not to be to operate until somebody suitable was brought in to run it.