Tuesday 18 June 2019

The Grand Hotel shuts its doors to walk-in business

The Grand Hotel in Wicklow town
The Grand Hotel in Wicklow town

Myles Buchanan

The Grand Hotel is no longer open to walk-in business after shutting its bar, residents bar, function room and nightclub last week.

Adrian Shanagher of Firebreak Hospitality, the company which owns the Grand Hotel, said it just wasn't any longer feasible to keep the facilities open when they were receiving such little business.

'From the outset, it was always my intention to leave the bar, residents bar, nightclub and function room open to the public but all our business was cancelled. Wicklow County Council cancelled their Christmas party and we had other cancellations as well. No one was coming in so there was no choice but to shut the facilities to walk-in business,' said Mr Shanagher. 'There was practically no one in the bar during the month of November and we ended up having to close during the daytime. There was no benefit in having the bar open on a Monday night when no one was coming in'.

Staff levels will drop from 45 down to 20, though some members of staff had already left upon the announcement that the hotel would become a direct provision centre for asylum seekers.

'It's very unfortunate, said Mr Shanagher, who added that a number of staff had already left as they were no longer comfortable working here.

'We have lost a lot of our casual staff, such as students, who would usually be very busy over Christmas. But there isn't much that can be done when there is such little local support. I understand the difficulties in booking a wedding reception when there are no rooms available but we only had four weddings booked for next year and we have assisted them all in finding alternative venues,' said Mr Shanagher.

The bars, function room and nightclub are still available for private functions and celebrations which can be booked in advance.

Wicklow People