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85 lose jobs as bars and off-licence close

A number of popular entertainment venues in Galway city have closed with the loss of 85 jobs.

Cuba, on Eyre Square, the Cellar Bar and Harvest off- licence, all part of the Jona Group owned by the Grealish family, have gone into voluntary liquidation.

Staff were informed of the decision at the weekend.

John Grealish, a director of the group, confirmed the closure of the venues and said they had no choice but to close.

"Since the start of the recession in June 2008, the sales in these three businesses have fallen by between 20pc and 50pc.

"In the past two years we have tried to manage the effects of the downturn by reducing costs. This involved redundancies, pay reductions, severe reductions in hours worked and major reductions in other costs.

"I sincerely thank all of our employees for the sacrifices that they made over this period and equally regret that their sacrifices were insufficient to save the businesses," he said.

Mr Grealish said they tried to save the businesses by agreeing reduced rents but that most landlords would not agree.

"In total 85 people will lose their jobs and the impact of this is devastating for them. Some of them have been with the various companies for up to 12 years. I sincerely wish them well," added Mr Grealish.

He said that the remaining businesses in the Jona Group -- McCanns SuperValu Moycullen, McCanns Centra Moycullen and Centra Ballybrit -- were unaffected by this decision.

Irish Independent