After years of losses and months of uncertainty about its future, Brisbane’s Irish Club has succumbed to the inevitable and moved from administration to liquidation.
There were seven different proposals to save the club, which had debts of more than $3 million, but none were strong enough to prevent liquidation.
When the 118-year-old club was placed in administration in January, its directors said it was “insolvent or is likely to become insolvent at some future time”.
A letter to creditors from administrator David Clout said: “At the adjourned second meeting of creditors held on May 11, 2015, the creditors have resolved the company be wound up and I was appointed the liquidator.”
Mr Clout said creditors were likely to be paid in full.
“As previously conveyed to creditors, I expect a dividend of 100c in the dollar will be made to creditors,” he said.
“This will be achieved from asset realisations following a marketing campaign to call for expressions of interest and realise the equity in the company’s property.”
A source familiar with the situation said amid in-fighting and factional ructions, many members were unable to accept how bad the situation had become over successive years.
“I’m very upset about what’s gone on. A lot of people, despite being presented with all the facts, continued not to believe the club was in trouble,” the source said.
“They thought everything was fine, but the reality was that everywhere you looked there was another problem.”
According to the Queensland Heritage Register, Tara House is significant for its “architectural quality, in particular the fine design, detailing, materials and workmanship of the interior… Tara House is an example of a facade by Richard Gailey, who designed many city buildings in Brisbane in the 1880s”.
After the sale of Tara House, the Queensland Irish Association’s heritage-listed building on Elizabeth St, its debts will be more than paid off, leading to speculation as to what happens to the surplus.
According to the rules of the club, any excess will be given to the auditor-general of Queensland for distribution to a like-minded club or association.
However, the liquidator may then apply to the court to take the club out of liquidation, in which case the surplus proceeds would then go back to the company to make a decision on what it wanted to do with it.
The Irish Echo understands that behind-the-scenes moves are afoot to try to secure a long-term future for the club at the Elizabeth St site. Any such move would require the co-operation of a developer and Brisbane City Council because the building is about 100 years old and has a lot of problems.