Saturday 23 March 2019

Sudden closure of popular resort leaves couples in wedding limbo

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Páraic McMahon

A Killaloe resort which announced its sudden closure has left several soon-to-be married couples out of pocket.

AnnaCarriga Estate in Lough Derg emailed the couples on Tuesday, informing them of the estate's closure.

The resort was previously named as one of the best wedding venues in the country by 'One Fab Day'.

At the beginning of January, the Clare location closed temporarily for two months for infrastructural works, which have not yet taken place. The email listed “factors beyond our control” as a contributory reason for the shock announcement.

Its sewerage treatment plant had been out of commission for 14 months and scheduled works were intended to rectify this. Prior to the closure untreated effluent had been discharged directly into the River Shannon which the email acknowledged was “totally unacceptable”.

“The current works to the sewerage treatment plant are far from adequate, they will not restore the plant to its previously compliant condition and nothing has been done to prevent future flooding events”.

On top of this, the reception, restaurant and function room areas had a boil water notice in place on the advice of the HSE, neither area had access to running water. Both the HSE and Clare County Council had requested works be carried out to secure a drinking water source but the finish did not comply with EPA guidelines.

Both sewerage and water supply “had a compounding negative impact on our resorts integrated holiday and leisure business, as a result AnnaCarriga can no longer possibly continue to trade,” Jeremy Mannion outlined in the correspondence to pre-paid customers.

Located 5km from Killaloe, AnnaCarriga Estates which came “from humble beginnings” in 1978 was a very popular wedding venue.

Prior to the closure, it boasted four star graded self catering holiday properties, a 50-berth Marina that offered the hiring of lake boats along the Annacarriga Rivers, tennis court, children’s play area, a Boathouse restaurant that was renovated in 2016 which opened from Wednesday to Sunday and a Glass Pavilion that attracted guests for meetings and conferences. Before the construction of the holiday homes and glass pavilion, the location was used as a campsite.

Management have failed to respond to multiple attempts for comment.

Many couples living in the UK had booked the location for their upcoming nuptials while Galway native Rory Walsh of Spire Productions was due to get married there next month.

Mr Walsh tweeted that he had “zero contact” from the east Clare resort since mid December.

“A lot of unlucky people have been left in the same boat. It’s a disaster”.

Chairperson of Clare Tourism, Eoin O’Hagan acknowledged it was a sad day for East Clare. “The Glass Pavilion they built was growing in popularity as a venue and not just for weddings. AnnaCarriga is an ideal position on the shore of Lough Derg. Jeremy and Jana Mannion worked really hard to make a success of their venture”.

A Facebook group has been established for affected couples while Bunratty Castle Hotel have pledged honour the wedding rates couples had with Anna Carriga once they have their dates available for 2019.

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