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Thurles Be Warned – Hayes Hotel Is Heading For “Lights Out”

Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary

Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary

Enda Kenny was busy down in Castlebar today, attempting to make 60 Senators redundant.

Meanwhile back here in Thurles, Co Tipperary, those placed with the custodial responsibility for the property of others, were also busy little bees, behaving in a somewhat secretive and similar fashion, attempting to reduce the turnover of one of our town’s historical landmarks and a world renowned place of annual pilgrimage.

Receiverships, even in Ireland, are normally observed as an equitable solution whose purpose is to protect a distressed company’s tangible and intangible assets. The obligations of receivers, both moral and otherwise when appointed, come under two headings;

(1) Secure and realise the entity and assets of the company to which they are assigned and where possible retain employees.

(2) Manage the affairs of the company in order to resolve all / any debts outstanding.

As a former employee of the hotel industry for many years, I find myself, when in need of a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, being drawn more to Hotels rather than the Tea Shop or the local Take-Away. As a lover of local history and folklore, you can therefore usually expect to find me supping my cup of coffee in a quiet corner of our famous landmark hostelry known worldwide as Hayes Hotel, home of the GAA and situated here in the very heart of Thurles.

In April last, Hayes Hotel, Thurles, went into receivership. No great shame on its current owners, who had dared to dream, taken a business gamble which if successful would have offered badly needed and considerable full time and part-time employment to our rural community. Six years ago encouraged by our now retired bankers they borrowed and were encouraged to do so, in the name of further necessary business expansion. This encouraged business accepted finance, gambled and lost heavily, when those who had offered umbrellas on sunny days recalled same at the first sign of cloudy sky. (Our readers will have met some of these same banking fraternity today, who despite being in receipt of vast pensions, were contracted to ‘strut their stuff’ behind polling booth tables, drawing lines through voters names, practically everywhere around this island of ours. This is despite the needs of 410,000 unemployed persons who could have happily undertaken this work and supplemented their meagre incomes.)

Having fallen on hard times, KPMG appointed receivers to Hayes Hotel, who confirmed that business would continue as normal and there would be no noticeable interruptions to current day-to-day trading activity. The hotel would continue to fully honour all customer bookings, all deposits and all current memberships.

The appointment of this new management operation was seen here by Thurles residents and business people as yet another blow to an already ailing uncertain rural town economy forced to resort to the use of savings to retain their essential staff and fund new trading stock.

I had noticed during my past few visits to Hayes that my favourite good humoured receptionist was missing, so on my visit this morning I had reason to query her absence as two friends had asked me to book a double room for next weekend. “She does not work here any more and we do not offer accommodation presently,” came the rather apologetic reply from the polite receptionist. With offers of help to obtain alternative accommodation I retreated to the bar area and having concluded other business, I left to make further discreet local inquiries as to the hotels welfare.

The following information gleaned from others, including previous employees, (Current Management point blankly refused to discuss the situation) revealed that since going into receivership in April there has been a systematic down grading of the profitable aspects of this establishment.

Hard working staff have now been cast out to exist on the generosity of the Irish Free State via Dole and Redundancy payments. In recent weeks essential staff; e.g. two Receptionists, two Night Porters, a Resident Disc Jockey and two House Keepers have had their employment terminated. Bedrooms are now closed, the nightclub is closed. Unconfirmed reports from these staff also state that essential maintenance is being undertaken by non local contract operators.

Is it impossible to make a profit from an already established popular weekend Nightclub and is it impossible not to make a profit from bedroom accommodation, even if  staff employed were being paid slightly over and above the minimum hourly wage?  Why are profitable aspects of this trading enterprise now being closed up?

Local readers stop and think for a moment and ask the questions; “What would Liberty Square be like if this hotel is to be abandoned?”  Is Hayes Hotel being deliberately reduced to a valueless entity in time for the next AllSop Space auction?   Is it now to be a case of  “Last out, please turn off the lights?

KPMG and their appointed receivers know the answer, but may need reminding that Hayes Hotel is not simply just another property.  For many it is a place of annual pilgrimage and a national monument, whose patrons should not be angered. Politicians would do well to remember that Tipperary fired the first shots of the war of Independence once before and just may decide to do the same again before the next election.

If ten jobs had being made available in Thurles this morning, Enda Kenny, RTE, the head of the IDA (whatever his name is), Richard Bruton, Noel Coonan and their ‘handlers’ would have all been strutting around town displaying puffed up chests, spitting out dodgy CSO statistics on their success in creating employment.  Unemployment like emigration on the other hand are dirty words best not discussed in any great detail.

Let us see if our Dublin orientated national news seeking journalistic friends will cover this catastrophe, concerning rural Ireland, in their newspapers this week.

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12 comments to Thurles Be Warned – Hayes Hotel Is Heading For “Lights Out”

  • Papa Fennelly

    This is the Mecca of the GAA world, no way should we allow this Jewel to be downgraded or done away with. Never was the GAA so high profile as of this year with all the great games and the great crowds attending these games. The GAA are now talking about selling their games to a wider world audience. And with the centenary of the 1916 rising coming up in a few years, Thurles and Hayes Hotel would be the ideal location to celebrate that event. Perhaps also it might be a good idea to move the GAA museum to Hayes Hotel for the 1916 Centenery celebrations in 2016.

    Yours Pat Fennelly

  • Ursula Paine

    This is a disgrace! Hayes Hotel is a national monument due to the GAA. It is also a local monument. Many people have enjoyed the hospitality and kindness of it’s staff and owner over many years. Personally I attended my first “adult” party there, in the old ballroom that was at the top of the old sweeping staircase, back in the 60’s. No booze and lots of supervision, but my friends and I felt so grown up !! I think the original hotel ought to be restored to former glory. Rooms etc probably need upgrading, but there’s hardly a house in the country that doesn’t need something similar, especially coming out of a recession. A paltry amount required to be spent to restore what is essentially part of our heritage. We have a town here that could be beautiful, with river walks, a town park, an historical hotel, two castles old and newer religious buildings, but instead, (unlike our nearest neighbours,) we have a dirty river full of weeds (etc), run down buildings, closed and for sale shops/pubs, no place for young people (other than back lanes). The council, and townspeople, need to work together to restore our town, rather than allow it to become ghost town.

  • Joan

    The usual response, close the stable door now that the horse is gone, well wake up Thurles folks the horse is not just gone he is dead and gone. When some proactive people endeavoured to save Thurles town support was in short supply, now all can reap the benefits of “ah! Sure what difference can we make?” I am a believer in people power. Save our town our high streets and family businesses who have given employment to the people of the town for generations. Let your feet and purses do the talking.

  • Joan

    I cant believe those retired bankers got jobs on polling stations and no one yet again objects to these useless greedy cretins making more money and bleeding people dry. Apathy is our worst enemy in this country.
    We need to wake up and speak up. The people are are promoting austerity are not suffering from it themselves are they? Our Taoiseach earns more than the British PM, its ridiculous. Useless overpaid wind-up merchants who have destroyed our economy and country.

    Hayes is often empty now, so people get in and eat there, drink there and keep this historical hotel open.

  • George Willoughby

    Journalist Valerie Hanley has a report in the Irish Mail On Sunday – Re. Hayes Hotel. Headline bottom of page 6 reads “Fears That GAA Hotel Will Close.”

  • Liam

    Forget Dublin media. Why not just ask readers to form a company and buy it back?.

  • George Willoughby

    Great Idea – How much have you got personally? Maybe we could approach “Dragons Den.”

  • Mrs Ryan

    Its easy to have a go at a politician and blame the people ‘in charge’. If we, the people of these rural towns, spent some income in these places, then they wouldn’t be struggling or going into receivership. You cannot stay in business, especially in these times, if you do not have the support of your locality. Perhaps it’s a case of – shame on the local community and not the government for the loss of local jobs. People have clearly voted with their feet/pockets. For what reason, you may well ask.

  • George Willoughby

    Mrs Ryan, with respect, I believe Charles Stewart Parnell stated during the Irish rent strike campaign in 1879 and 1880:
    It is no use relying on the Government, you must only rely upon your own determination. Help yourselves by standing together, strengthen those amongst yourselves who are weak, band yourselves together, organize yourselves and you must win.
    Now ask yourself the following questions and I believe you will find that the answer to each is the same.
    Questions:
    (1) Who, while having been granted the power by the electorate to act on our behalf, allowed Bankers, Snake Oil Salesmen and Developers to destroy this State?
    (2) Who despite pre-election promises imposed, over the past 4 years, imposed continuous hardships on the elderly, physically and mentally handicapped?
    (3) Who introduced House Hold Charges and Property Tax on this nation, without taking into consideration an individuals ability to pay?
    (4) Who were paid expenses of more than €500,000 in the month of August 2013, a month during which the Dáil did not sit once?
    (5) Who were paid allowances of over nearly €150,000 for August 2013 when the Seanad had only sat for one day of business?
    (6) Who last Friday attempted to remove partial democracy from the hands of Irish people?
    (7) Who, following policies of continued austerity, through taxes and cuts, forced a job crisis and forced 300,000 to travel abroad in search of work?

    Answer: Politicians

    Politicians are not ‘in charge,’ Mrs Ryan, that is our problem, we do not either now or indeed have had over the last 10 years, anyone in charge. What we have had are those who were, and are still today taking care only of their own personal interests, while their Spin Doctors and Handlers continue to support their continuous greed.
    The Civil Service on protected large salaries and even larger pensions, together with spin doctors run this country and politicians are merely their mouth pieces.

  • Kelly

    Last time I went out in Hayes night club, the place was packed with 16 – 17 year olds. Some of them even told me how I was so old to be out there. I was 20 at the time. That is exactly why it is closed. No one wants to go out to a place crawling with under-agers because it’s actually unsafe.

  • George Willoughby

    How did you know their ages? Obviously they had ID which satisfied security. Were these 16 – 17 year olds out without parental consent? To be fair from my knowledge of local police activity, regular checks are attributed to all licensed premises to ensure no such activity is permitted. Thurles was one of the first Towns in Tipperary to introduce ID cards. Perhaps your remarks are somewhat generalised and this certainly is not the reason it closed. So far as I am aware this premises was never prosecuted for under age activity, had it been so, it would have immediately lost its licence. I am aware that two of my daughters were refused admission when aged 22.

  • Liam Crowe

    Sure folks, is it not plain to see what is going to happen here! Hayes’s Hotel will be run into the ground and sold at a knock down price by the receiver to a silent buyer (Bankrupt). It doesn’t take an expert to see what’s going on in this country and it will continue until we the taxpayers make a stand and say “enough is enough” and take our country back. Lets organise a national one day strike and let our employees (The POLITICIANS) know that we have had enough!

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