Publican and TV personality Neil Morrissey has vowed to repay all his debts after losing £2.5m when his pub and hotel company collapsed.
Morrissey, who set up property company Hurst House Laugharne Ltd five years ago, owned several pubs and hotels around the country including Hurst House and Dylan Thomas’s favourite pub, The New Three Mariners, both in Laugharne.
As the ventures under performed, debts rose and the banks recalled his loans, the actor was forced to abandon the company, but has promised to repay his creditors through a individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) over the next three years.
Speaking to the News of the World, Morrissey said that while he had lost his life savings, he saw bankruptcy as the ‘easy way out’.
“People advise you to take the easy route,” he said. “It'll only last a year and you'll be back up and running. But I just thought there are too many good people who've lost their money on these deals, and I wanted to repay them as much as I possibly could. I feel morally obliged.”
Morrissey is the latest celebrity hospitality operator to succumb to the recession, following the administration of Anthony Worral Thompson’s restaurant business and the near-bankruptcy of Gordon Ramsay Holdings earlier this year.
Commenting on his status, Morrissey said: “No one is untouchable. This can happen to anyone. You can be doing very well one day, and on the streets the next. These things creep up on you. All of a sudden it manifests itself. But while it's all been awful it does teach you a good lesson. I won't make the same mistakes again.”
Morrissey is now in a separate pub and brewing business with chef Richard Fox, and currently owns Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn at Marton-cum-Grafton, North Yorkshire, as well as the Morrissey-Fox ale brand.