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Property company records profit for last year

Enda Cunningham



A company belonging to one of the biggest property developers in the West recorded a profit of almost €2 million for 2014, according to newly-filed accounts.

According to the directors of Granelt Properties Ltd – which is owned by Bernard Duffy and is a subsidiary of TBD Group Holdings – NAMA has agreed to a business plan for asset disposal.

In the accounts for the year ended December 2014, the company reported a profit just shy of €2m (there was a loss of €1.1m recorded the previous year), and net liabilities were reduced from €32.5m to €29.7m.

However, the company’s auditors noted it incurred an operating loss (before exceptional gains) for 2014 of €662,000.

Included in the company’s liabilities are €10.7m as part of a joint venture in the name of ‘DH Partnership’ – this includes almost €7.1m in a bank loan, more than €3.5m in interest, and €106,000 owed to the fellow joint venture party.

That party is developer Hugh Heskin, and the loans are understood to relate to 21 acres at Parkmore on the Tuam Road in Galway, where the partnership secured planning permission for 90 homes.

The directors have made an impairment provision of €10.3m on the value of the Tuam Road site – which would leave it with a value of €270,000. This is based on directors’ valuations.

“The outlook for the property market has declined since the company’s core assets were acquired and the value of those assets has declined.

“The outlook for the property market in general has significantly increased the uncertainty in relation to the carrying value of its joint venture asset and work in progress.

“The company’s principal banking facilities and those of its subsidiaries have been transferred to NAMA. The company has submitted a business plan to NAMA which sets out the directors’ proposals for the orderly process of completion and asset disposal, over a certain period.

“This business plan has been reviewed and accepted by NAMA. The successful implementation of this business plan is dependent on the ongoing support of NAMA. These conditions indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt upon the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” the directors’ report reads.

The company is owed €3.5m by its parent company TBD Group Holdings, and has made a provision for the non-recoverability of that.

Meanwhile, accounts for the parent company show a loss for the year-ended 2014 show a loss of just under €434,000, and net liabilities of €7.3m.

Mr Duffy is best known for building the likes of the Harbour Hotel and House Hotel in the city centre, and for taking over the Baily Point complex in Salthill.

The company has also constructed – itself and for clients – significant office, residential, carpark and retail developments across Dublin in investments which had been valued at more than €150m. Other major projects include redevelopment work at NUIG, the Bons Secours Hospital, Sligo IT, the construction of the Abbott Pharmaceutical Plant in Sligo, and extension to Medtronic.


€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms




Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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