A 74-year-old multi-millionaire bachelor farmer has entered the hotel business after buying two hotels for a combined €625,000.
JJ McCabe from Clarecastle, Co Clare, scooped the largest amount of any land-deal in the county during the Celtic Tiger era when he sold 48 acres of land for €18.8m to Galway developer Stephen Harris in 2005.
Now Mr McCabe has spent €320,000 on purchasing the 41-bed Kilkee Bay Hotel on the Atlantic coast and €305,000 on the 22-bed Ashford Court Hotel in Ennis. Both are currently closed.
Mr McCabe said he "will be hands on" last night.
"It would be much easier for me to sit back and watch television all day and just watch my money do the work for me, but I wanted to get out there and create jobs," he said.
"There's no question of me retiring. I'll die on the job. Retiring is imposing a death sentence. I need to be engrossed – in body and mind – in new projects."
Mr McCabe, who worked at the Regency Palace Hotel in London 50 years ago, said he is planning a May opening.