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I don't know who I can talk to. I've got people who want to kill me . . . people who want to hate you or love you or take a bit of you. -- Bono

U2 hotel owes €57k as city council waits for €4.8m in unpaid rates

Herald

DUBLIN City Council still hasn't found what it's looking for from U2's Clarence Hotel.

THE local authority revealed it is owed more than €57,000 by the top hotel, which was bought by Bono and The Edge in 1993.

The council named Brushfield Ltd, trading as The Clarence, on a list of 50 companies which owe a combined €4.8m in outstanding commercial rates from last year.

The levy - payable by business owners for the provision of council services - is a key source of revenue for local authorities across the country.

Clarence general manager Clinton Attwell told the Herald: "The hotel has been in existence for a long time. In that time, we have always paid our rates.

Occasionally, a balance would go through to the next year. We have a long-term relationship with Dublin City Council which has always worked well."

The Clarence, on Wellington Quay, has an outstanding bill of €57,823.75 from 2011.

Brushfield Limited lists Bono and The Edge as directors.

Surprised

City officials said the top 50 companies owe a total of €4,885,831.34, with Tulane Business Management listed as having an unpaid bill of €892,956.08.

Tulane operates the hotels formerly run by developer Sean Dunne's MJBCH company in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

But Pat McCann of Dalata Hotel Group, as associate company of Tulane, told the Herald the sum is actually owed by MJBCH and not Tulane.

He pointed out Tulane only took over the operation of the business in January this year.

Fine Gael councillor Ray McAdam sought the information ahead of a meeting with City Manager John Tierney about the council's budget for 2013.

"To be honest, I was surprised there was that much outstanding," he told the Herald. "I want to know what the council is doing to accrue these outstanding rates."

The details show that NAMA owes the council €132,789.21 relating to 38-40 Grand Canal Street Lower.

Labour councillor Dermot Lacey called on the State loans agency to "pay its bills" to the local authority.

(c) Herald, 2012.