Morris asks Aherlow House Hotel receiver to recover & refund couples’ deposits

Sinn Féin’s Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris has called publicly for Grant Thornton – the receiver of Aherlow House Hotel – to recover and refund deposits taken by the former hotel operator from couples.

Cllr Morris said: “An increasing number of couples have been in contact with the Sinn Féin team. They paid their deposits to Aherlow House Hotel in good faith for their wedding celebrations to be held there. That money was very hard come-by, and represents an investment in their future that they can not afford to lose.”

“When they learned Aherlow House was in receivership they made contact with the receiver, to be told their payments were not in the possession of the hotel, and would not be returned. I know of scenarios around
the country where receivers took immediate possession of absolutely everything as a first step. In the recent Xtra-Vision case 83 cars left Dublin to head to 83 different locations simultaneously to do just this.”

“Why wasn’t the same done in this case?”

“The hotel operator leased the business, apparently with a view to purchase. Clearly from this, customer service was not a high priority for him. The hotel is owned by Goldman Sachs – a name well known to us, and not always in a positive light. The receivers Grant Thornton are not willing to take responsibility for all of the business they are receiving.”

“This is further proof that over the last 5 years little has changed in this State. The present Government came to power promising change,yet situations like this still occur.”

“All that’s happened is that more power has been given over to the big guy, while the little guy still suffers.”

“Those deposits total about €70,000,which is a trivial asset to a vulture capitalist, but a very significant amount for a young couple starting out their lives together.”

“The full Aherlow House story is a prime example of vulture capitalism,where business are tossed around like playthings, and the little people who depend on those business are little more than collateral damage.”

“Sinn Féin won’t stand by while young people are treated this way. We will consider all options, including a protest at the hotel. We’re worried also about the future of the workers in the hotel, of which there are about 100. Owner Goldman Sachs and receiver Grant Thornton must show a social conscience, and not just process this receivership in the interests of the big-money operators.”

“Most of the couples affected are based in South Tipperary, but this type of business behaviour is a national problem.”

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