Northern Ireland

Developer Jim Treacy's G8 luxury resort dream

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJim Treacy said he would give all to regain the resort he developed and lost

The man who built the Lough Erne golf resort and lost it in the financial crisis, has said he would like to regain ownership.

The five-star resort is the venue for the G8 summit in County Fermanagh and was put back on the market by its administrators last week for £10m.

Jim Treacy, a native of County Fermanagh, said he "will be giving everything to get the hotel back".

He said that politicians should have had more control over the banks.

The man who turned a field in Fermanagh into a venue for prime ministers and presidents also built a successful business in Dublin.

However, it was his dream to do something for his home county that led him to create the Lough Erne Golf Resort.

He said he took over the Castle Hume golf course and some surrounding lands in the early 2000s.

Failed to regulate

"The golf club came for sale and that's how it started," he said.

"It was a dream to begin with, but look what it is today - the site for the G8."

But two years ago, that was not the view of his bank.

Mr Treacy said he believed he was a victim because the banks failed to take a long-term view and politicians failed to regulate them.

The Bank of Scotland's decision to cut their losses in Ireland meant he lost both his businesses.

"At this moment in Ireland, there are probably about 200 hotels in receivership but they are in receivership because the banks are not taking a long-term view.

"They want to go in, get whatever it's worth, get the cash back to their balance sheet and that's what it's about.

"It's a totally irrational approach to be taking."


He is now back in control of his businesses in Dublin and he said he would do all he could to get the hotel back too.

"I have people who have seen what has happened, who have seen what I did, mostly, have seen how unlucky I was, who have seen how unfairly I've been treated.

"They said, look, have you got the up-and-go to get back on the horse, and I have, and they are prepared to work.

"Given a fair wind, and fairness, I'll be giving it everything I have to do that."

Mr Treacy said that when the hotel was announced as the venue for the G8, he "felt vindicated and justified in my thinking".

He said he knew that, some day, the hotel would attract a big event.

"But I never thought in my wildest dreams that it would attract something like the G8 which is coming. I think it's great."

He is a man wounded by the global financial crisis - but without his vision, the G8 would never have come to Northern Ireland.