Travel Company Joe Walsh Tours To Reopen After Being Bought From Liquidators
As reported by rte.ie, travel company Joe Walsh Tours, which ceased trading earlier this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, will reopen after the business was bought from its liquidators by a former manager.
In April, Joe Walsh Pilgrimtours Ltd, trading under a number of different brand names, reportedly said that it was unable to fulfil its obligations to customers.
KPMG were reportedly appointed to liquidate the company and in May put it up for sale.
But following a competitive sales process, David Walsh, who had been involved in running the firm prior to its closure, has reportedly bought the business and certain assets, including the Joe Walsh Tours brand from the liquidators.
The Pilgrimages Abroad & Concorde Travel brands have reportedly also been bought as part of the deal.
The price paid reportedly has not been disclosed by either side.
When it entered liquidation, Joe Walsh Tours and its related businesses reportedly had liabilities of around €5 million.
But it is reportedly understood that the business and assets were sold for less than this amount.
Most of the 3,000 creditors were reportedly people who had booked and paid for tours.
When it closed, the company reportedly had a bond in place with the Commission for Aviation Regulation to cover passengers who had booked package trips.
The Commission is reportedly still in the process of refunding all former customers who were due to depart from the Republic of Ireland.
UK customers have reportedly been refunded through the Total Payment Protection policy provided by Travel & General Insurance Services Ltd.
Other creditors reportedly included Revenue, landlords, and various trade creditors.
The new owner of the company reportedly said that it is currently in the process of seeking a licence from the Commission for Aviation Regulation.
Its intention is reportedly to resume offering travel services in a range of specialist tour markets, including pilgrimages.
"We are delighted to announce the reopening of Joe Walsh Tours," a spokesperson reportedly said. "Parishes, group leaders, dioceses and special interest groups around Ireland have repeatedly voiced their need for the assistance of a specialist licensed and bonded group travel company, when co-ordinating foreign group travel and we are ready to facilitate these groups."
Founded in 1961 by Co Down native Joe Walsh, Joe Walsh Tours is one of the oldest travel companies in the state.
It became particularly well known for specialised tours to pilgrimage destinations.
Prior to the pandemic, it had offices in the UK, Europe, and the US and employed more than 100 people.
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.