Ulster Bank has appointed a receiver to Glencullen Holdings, which operates the two car dealerships Bill Cullen had left, in Swords and Liffey Valley in Dublin.

Reported to owe the bank around €12m, the two dealerships employ 45 people and Cullen said they had dropped 70pc in value over the past two years.

Falling car sales and other factors led to the end of the road for Cullen, who has been in the motor trade for 55 years and went on to be the front man for the TV3 series ‘The Apprentice’.

Cullen lost the Renault dealership last August, having held the national franchise for the French carmaker from 1986 to 2007.

He still co-owns Muckross Park Hotel Cloisters Spa in Killarney with Jackie Lavin.

Kavanagh Fennell was appointed as receiver to Glencullen Holdings and it is thought it will aim to keep the dealerships trading for a time.