'No plans' to use Royal Hotel as refugee centre
There are no plans to turn the Royal Hotel into a direct provision centre, according to director Maureen McGettigan O'Connor, who said that it is 'business as usual' there.
Mrs O'Connor said that untrue rumours have been circulating regarding the town centre business being used to house asylum seekers.
She said that plans are in place for refurbishment to take place at the Royal next autumn once the busy summer season is over. Weddings, communions, Christenings, meetings and all other business conducted at the hotel all continue to proceed as normal.
Mrs O'Connor said that there is no absolutely foundation to the rumours, and that management have no idea where the untruths originated. The hotel has been in the McGettigan family for almost 40 years.
Mrs O'Connor said that members of staff had concerns, having heard the misleading information themselves. They have been assured in no uncertain terms that there is no foundation to what they heard. Someone was actually going to pull their wedding because they heard this, but they were reassured personally by Mrs O'Connor and did not cancel the booking. '
All going well we have provision to do some refurbishment work here. We will be refurbishing every room that hasn't been done to date. There are 125 rooms here, and they will all be revamped,' said Mrs O'Connor. 'We intend to refurbish the lobby and the bistro.'
There are also plans for a further 14 bedrooms which they hope to do also in the winter. She said that the Royal contributes significantly to the local economy and community. They accommodate thousands of tourists each year and actively market their services. They also make a sizeable contribution in commercial and water rates.
'I just don't know what negative rumours are going around about the hotel,' said Mrs O'Connor, who said that she is very disappointed to hear the inaccuracy and deeply wishes to set the record straight. The hotel employs around 100 people, mostly hailing from the local area.