Tragic news today from sources that NAMA developer and well-known publican Hugh O’Regan, aged 49, has taken his life. As a developer, he might be best known for the development of the four-star Morrison Hotel in Dublin city centre which was sold earlier this year for about €22m and is presently undergoing a multi-million euro refurbishment under the auspices of its new owner, Russia’s richest woman, Yelena Baturina.
His chain of Thomas Read pubs included the Bailey, Pravda, Ron Black’s, Lincoln’s Inn and Searson’s – he sold the group in 2005 for a reported €30m. In 2009, liquidators were appointed to a group of his companies which reportedly had debts of nearly €300m overall, these debts were understood to have transferred to NAMA. The debts related to the development of the former Kilternan Hotel and Country Club in Dublin and the former Hibernian United Services Club at 8 St Stephen’s Green. Earlier this year, a group of protesters occupied one of his properties slated for development as an office block on Great Strand Street in Dublin city centre.
In July 2012, Hugh was sanctioned by the High Court in Dublin and restrictions were placed on him in respect of acting as a company director for the next five years. In July 2002, Hugh’s brother, John, also succumbed to suicide.
Hugh is believed to be at least the second NAMA developer to have taken their lives – earlier this year, word was received of another NAMA developer dying by suicide.
UPDATE: 27th November, 2012. With thanks to Gillian Nelis at the SBP for constructively drawing attention to guidelines published by the Samaritans on reporting suicide. For anyone affected by the death of Hugh, the Samaritans is available for anyone in any type of distress on 08457 90 90 90 in the UK or 1850 60 90 90 in the Republic of Ireland or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments will be disabled on this blogpost, but it’s worth saying that every single comment received was respectful to Hugh and his family.