ONE of the country's best known rugby bars fronted by an iconic name in Irish sport has closed its doors after 13 years.
Clohessy's bar on Howley's Quay in Limerick city is partly owned by rugby legend Peter Clohessy. The former Munster and Irish international prop is one of a number of directors of the company that owned the pub and Sin Bin nightclub.
Up to 60 part-time and full-time workers have been affected by the closure.
A notice at the entrance to the pub stated "Bar Ltd has ceased trading as and from October 5, 2014. The premises will remain closed until further notice. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all our customers who supported us over the years."
It is understood 47 staff were shocked when called to a meeting yesterday morning and informed of the closure.
"We found out this morning it was hard to explain and put it into words they are all devastated," said one staff member.
While the main bar and nightclub have closed, Peter Clohessy confirmed that Small Claws pub in Shannon Street in the city and Croker's bar in Murroe Co Limerick, will remain open.
Mr Clohessy posted to his Twitter account yesterday confirming the closure and thanking customers for their support.
"Thanks to everyone over the last 13 years. Clohessy's bar and Sinbin only! Crokers/small claws open as usual," he wrote.
Mr Clohessy had recently spoken of trading difficulties and said his pub business was "crucified" by the €5m construction works on the new boardwalk and development of Howley's Quay which were completed late last year.
At that time he claimed the works meant he missed out on major events which would have bolstered the bar's finances, such as the Bruce Springsteen concert in Thomond Park, and the Munster hurling final, which also attracted tens of thousands of people to the city.
The former star, who fronted the bar and co-owns it alongside a number of Cork-based investors, admitted that they would be fighting legal proceedings initiated by Limerick City Council over the non payment of commercial rates.
He admitted the company did owe rates, but would not reveal how much.
Recent accounts showed that accumulated losses at the company, Clohessy's Bar Limerick Ltd that operates his pub and nightclub increased by €180,495 - from €323,644 to €504,139 - in the year to the end of August 2012.
Limerick Chamber of Commerce Interim Chief Orlaith Borthwick said the closure was a blow to the whole area.