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Gangland shooting has caused severe financial losses for Regency Hotel

CourtsBy Sunday World
Tributes to David Byrne at the Regency Hotel where he was killed
Tributes to David Byrne at the Regency Hotel where he was killed

Dublin's Regency Hotel, scene of the assassination of David Byrne on February 5 last, has been suffering heavy financial losses since the shooting, the High Court was told today.

James McGettigan, director of Regan Development Ltd which trades as the Regency Hotel Group, said in a sworn statement that the hotel had suffered immense reputational damage and loss of business in the weeks which followed the shooting, in which two people were also wounded.

He said the viability of the trade and the livelihoods of staff had been undermined since the hotel was the source of wanton violence, when a group of at least four armed men had entered the premises as a boxing weigh-in was taking place.

Micheal P O'Higgins SC, counsel for Regan Development Ltd, said the hotel had been closed off as a crime scene for several days after the shooting.  There had been extensive media coverage of the incident, and afterwards many booked events were cancelled.

The family-run hotel, off Swords Road, Drumcondra, is seeking indemnity from its insurer Aviva, but Mr Justice Robert Haughton said today that the matter was not urgent and put the application back to the new law term in April.

Judge Haughton was told the incident was covered under the insurance policy, and the claim procedure had been followed.

The court heard the insurance contract provided the hotel coverage in respect of losses arising from the diminution of income and increased costs which had been triggered by events including murders on premises.

Counsel said the loss had been estimated at €217,196 but despite repeated requests his client had received no confirmation from Aviva Insurance that they had any intention to indemnify the hotel.

Mr O'Higgins, who appeared with Mr McGettigan's legal team Gareth Robinson BL and solicitor Georgina Robinson, said the business had suffered immense reputational damage and was in a precarious state, back in recessionary conditions.

Mr McGettigan said the gravity of the financial situation had increased and he was anxious to seek a commitment from Aviva Insurance that they will indemnify the hotel.

He claims that the hotel's difficulties are not insurmountable but are critical and demand the urgent attention of its insurer.

Judge Haughton heard that the three-star hotel, which caters to businesses and tourists, had been providing services such as family reunions, weddings and funerals and had played hosts to concerts and sports events.

Since the shooting, the hotel had suffered loss of business on rugby and GAA weekends, as well as on St Patrick's Day.  

The hotel, which has also provided temporary social and emergency housing through arrangements with Dublin local authorities, had turned over €7.3million last year.

Saurya Cherfi

Via Independent.ie