Revenue secures provisional liquidator appointment for operator of Dublin pub

Revenue claims it is owed €572,000 from Castor Ventures Ltd, which operates Mulligan & Haines on Dame Street

A provisional liquidator has been appointed to the operator of a Dublin city centre pub after plans to form a survival scheme fell through.

The liquidation petition is being advanced by the Revenue Commissioners which claims it is owed €572,000 from Castor Ventures Ltd, which operates Mulligan & Haines bar, restaurant and accommodation on Dame Street.

The court heard Castor’s sole director is Colm Wu.

Revenue initially agitated for a provisional liquidator to be appointed last September on foot of an alleged demand for payment of €649,000 in alleged unpaid taxes, comprising a mix of VAT, earning taxes and taxes related to Covid-19 business supports.


However, its application was adjourned before examiners were appointed to the company in late 2023 by the Circuit Court, which was told debts could not be paid.

The Circuit Court discharged the examiners – lifting the court’s protection of the firm against its creditors – on Friday afternoon. Its orders were timed to coincide with Revenue’s High Court application for the appointment of a provisional liquidator.

Moving the application for Revenue, barrister Sally O’Neill said her client has “very serious concerns” about Castor’s corporate governance.

Only Revenue was represented in court when Mr Justice David Nolan said he was satisfied to appoint Myles Kirby, of Kirby Healy Chartered Accountants, as provisional liquidator of the firm.

In a sworn statement to the court, an officer in the collector general division of Revenue, Amy Reville, said an independent expert reported that the firm has been operating without a liquor license since 2021 and has no fire safety certificate. She said the business provides accommodation for up to 32 Ukrainian refugees.

Ms Reville said the examiners informed Revenue they were optimistic a scheme of arrangement could be formed to save the company, despite difficulties, as the preferred investor remained engaged. However, she said, Revenue was notified on Thursday that the examiners believed they could no longer put together a plan and would ask the court to remove its protection from creditors on Friday.

She said the examiners identified 22 payments totalling €14,000 that were not related to the company. While Mr Wu initially committed to repaying these to Castor by the end of January, 2024, Ms Reville said, these were only repaid on February, 15th.

She said the independent expert’s report notes debts owned by certain related and connected firms, amounting to some €1.5 million, contributed to Castor’s insolvency.

The company is unable to pay its debts, and it should be wound up for just and equitable reasons, she said.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is an Irish Times reporter