Several companies co-owned by Alan Hyde, a Cork-based businessman, have received at least €70,000,000 from the Department of Justice to provide ‘Direct Provision’ accommodation to asylum seekers since the scheme began in 2000.
The companies have won contracts from the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) to operate a total of seven Direct Provsion (DP) centres in Cork, Limerick and Waterford over the past fifteen years. RIA is the agency within the Department of Justice responsible for overseeing the Direct Provision system.
The seven centres are:
- An Poc Fada, Cobh (operated as a DP centre 2001–2010)
- Ashbourne House, Glounthane, Cork (2000 — )
- Clonakilty Lodge, Clonakilty (2000* — )
- Glen Vera, Wellington Road, Cork (2001 — )
- Mount Trenchard, Foynes (2004 — )
- Sarsfield Bridge Hotel, Sarsfield St., Limerick (2008–2010)
- Ursuline Complex / Birchwood, Waterford (2001* — )
*Clonakilty Lodge was under different ownership until 2007. Birchwood was under different ownership before 2003.
The five centres that are still operating account for about 10% of the total capacity within the Direct Provision system. Three of those centres, Mount Trenchard, Ashbourne House and Birchwood, have experienced protests by residents within the past year.
There are a number of companies involved in the running of these centres: Barlow Properties, Bideau, Stompool Investments, Baycaster, D and A Pizza’s and Oval Rock. Some of the companies have since been disolved.
While Alan Hyde is not the sole owner of any of these companies, he is the only individual involved in all of the companies. He has a 50% shareholding most of the companies and he has a 33% shareholding in the remaining company, Barlow Properties. He is a also a director of each company.
The other directors and shareholders involved in Mr. Hyde’s companies are:
- The Murphys — Mr Hyde’s main business partner Ted Murphy, now deceased; Mr. Murphy’s widow Yvonne Murphy; and Tadhg Murphy, son of Ted and Yvonne.
- Norma Hyde — Alan’s wife. The Hydes are co-owners of D and A Pizza’s Limited which runs Clonakilty Lodge.
- Michael Lane — a 33% shareholder in Barlow Properties.
- Michael O’Donovan — who was a 50% shareholder and director of Oval Rock Limited — the company contracted to run the Sarsfield Bridge Hotel centre.
All of these companies, except for Oval Rock, are registered at 24/25 South Mall, Cork City. This is also the address of the auditors used by each company except for Oval Rock: P.D. Mehigan & Co.
Since at least 2013, correspondence between RIA and each companies has been addressed to Mr. Hyde’s home address in Rochestown, Cork City.
RIA Contracts and Department of Justice Purchase Orders
RIA release a list yearly of the contracts they award to Direct Provision providers. Only the values of each contract up to two years before the January of the current year are provided to protect the commercial interests of RIA and the Direct Provision contractors. The contracts from 2000 to the end of 2012 are currently available.
The contracts show that Mr. Hyde’s companies were awarded contracts worth a total of €60,245,868 from the beginning of the Direct Provision in 2000 to December 2012.
In addition, the Department of Justice release yearly lists of purchase orders with a value of over €20,000. Over €5,000,000 per year worth of purchase orders listing the Hyde companies as suppliers were included in the 2013 and 2014 lists. Although there might be some minor overlap between the end of the contracts in 2012 and the 2013 purchase orders, the following are the best figures available. The Reception and Integration Agency and the Murphy and Hyde families are welcome to correct the record but it is likely that these companies have actually been paid even more money to date.
Barlow Properties, which is the company contracted to run Ashbourne House, and which previously ran An Poc Fada, received €18,741,686 in payments from RIA from 2000–2014.
Stompool Investments Limited was paid €16,863,090 by RIA run the Ursuline Complex and Birchwood centre in Waterford between December 2003 and December 2014. Stompool is currently co-owned by Mr. Hyde and Yvonne Murphy. Birchwood opereted as a Direct Provision centre between May 2001 and December 2003 under a different company, Rosetto Limited. A director in Rosetto during that period was Thomas Duggan, who is also involved in the contracting of several other Direct Provision centres trough Millstreet Equestrian Services Limited, a company of which he is a director along with his father, Noel C. Duggan.
RIA has paid €15,190,338 to the contractors who run the Glen Vera Hotel in Cork City. The contractor for Glen Vera Hotel is listed in RIA contract documents as “Alan Hyde + Ted Murphy.” However, RIA Inspection reports from 2013 and 2014 list the contractor for Glenvera as Bideau Limited. Mr. Hyde and Ted Murphy were 50% shareholders in Bideau until Mr. Murphy’s death in 2013. Bideau continues to be operated by Alan Hyde and Tadhg Murphy, Ted’s son, as directors, while Alan Hyde and Yvonne Murphy, Ted’s widow, are now the co-owners of the company.
Mount Trenchard has had an interesting history. Baycaster Limited have received €8,702,339 in RIA contracts to run the centre since May 2004. There have been two periods, however, during which the RIA contract lapsed, unusual for Direct Provision centres. These periods were between December 2004 and March 2005, and between February 2006 and January 2007.
The contractor for Clonakilty Lodge is listed in RIA contract documents and correspondence as “D and A Limited”. There is no such company registered in Ireland. There is, however, a “D & A Pizza’s Limited” which is co-owned by Alan and Norma Hyde. RIA has awarded contracts to the Hydes under this D and A name €8,520,960 between October 2007 and December 2014. Clonakilty Lodge has been used as a Direct Provision centre since the system began in 2000.
Before being taken over by the Hydes, Clonakilty lodge was contracted by Alliance Leisure Limited, a company which prior to 2007 was directed by, amongst others, J P Ryan, the Limerick-based businessman who also runs Hanratty’s, the Limerick City Direct Provision centre. Ownership of Alliance Leisure transfered to the Hydes in 2007. Another company, Bresmay Limited, which was transferred to the Hydes Hyde at the same time and was co-owned by Alan and Norma Hyde until 2011, is now wholly owned by Alan Hyde and has been registered at his home address since October 2007.
Another Limerick City Direct Provision centre was Sarsfield Bridge Hotel, which operated as a centre between June 2008 and June 2010. The company contracted by RIA for Sarsfield Bridge was Oval Rock Limited, a company co-owned by Mr. Hyde and Michael O’Donovan. Oval Rock was paid €2,845,650 across two contracts in the two years that the Sarsfield Bridge Hotel operated as a Direct Provision centre. In Oval Rock’s 2009 Annual Accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office, it was disclosed that Oval Rock was invoiced for €544,319 in subcontractor costs by OD Project Services Mallow Limited. This latter company was 99% owned by Michael O’Donovan.