From Shieldhill to sheriff court as hotelier is pursued for debts

Shieldhill Castle Hotel appear to be facing a meltdown as Sweeney Leisure is taken to court over debt
Shieldhill Castle Hotel appear to be facing a meltdown as Sweeney Leisure is taken to court over debt

There were further troubles this week for the company which runs the Shieldhill Castle Hotel as it found itself being chased for debt at Lanark Sheriff Court.

Sweeney Leisure Limited, whose sole director is Mary Sweeney Yuill, was facing a civil action brought against it by Promontoria, who the Gazette has learned buys up aged debt that lenders have been unsuccessful in recovering from debtors themselves.

The case was listed on the ordinary cause roll meaning it was above the maximum limit for a small claims action which is set at £5,000.

The case called at the court on Tuesday, January 15 and was immediately adjourned until Tuesday, February 12 for a further hearing.

Since we broke the story four weeks ago that the hotel was being chased by staff who had walked out after waiting weeks to be paid wages, we have been inundated with calls and emails of horror stories relating to the businesses run by Mary Yuill.

Only last week we revealed Shieldhill had closed and was no longer trading, but following our web post, the hotel had put up a notice within the hour on its own Facebook page that it was merely closed for repairs and refurbishment, and hoped to be open by the end of this month.

We have now started to receive calls about another hotel in Dunbar which Mary Yuill was leasing in a similar arrangement to her operation at Shieldhill.

She took over The Rocks Hotel in September 2018, and by January 7 had done a ‘moonlight flit’ according to staff, who said she hadn’t paid the rent and that they are now waiting to be paid wages.

In an eerily similar situation to that at Shieldhill, staff have received many promises from Yuill, but thus far no cash has materialised.

This hotel’s facebook page has also posted a message that it too is now closed for refurbishment!

We learnt that things had gotten so bad for Yuill in Dunbar, that staff had been forced to buy alcohol from the local Co-op due to suppliers having not been paid.