By Colm Croffy, Ballinasloe Life Magazine
Second Time Round Closure For Signature Dunlo St. Hotel
Eight years almost to when Hayden’s Hotel closed its doors for the last time; it is Groundhog Day for Dunlo St and the town with the loss of 35 jobs and darkness descending on what was once the leading flagship of the street.
Staff at the hotel were clearly upset at the closure of the landmark hostelry, when informed out of the blue last, night which has been synonymous with the town, and has served both locals and visitors for generations.
One of the best known establishments in the West of Ireland, the 60 bedroom hotel became a very popular wedding venue after the O’Carroll family took it over in 1945, and was always a favourite pit- stop for people travelling to Galway and Connemara.
The Creaven Brothers purchased the hotel and its holdings from the Receivers appointed to the Lynch Construction Group in 2008 with ambitious development plans. In 2013 the Hotel featured in RTE’s At Your Service Programme with Francis and John Brennan.
It is understood that the realities of trading in the teeth of recession with mounting overhead costs like Energy, Insurance , Rates and the difficulties of parking forced the Hotel into closure. A good fair week was not enough to save them. Whilst it is understood that staff were only offered state redundancy terms it is not known now what is to happen the premises .There are now 12 closed and dilapidated businesses on a once bustling Dunlo St.
Speaking to LIFE Chairman Seamus Duffy acknowledged the role the Creaven Family had in supporting the community life “It’s a tough decision for the Creaven’s and indeed the staff but we must remember that they provided nearly 40 jobs in our town in the teeth of the worst recession the country has ever seen for 8 years. They were also very strong supporters of many sporting, charitable, community and voluntary organisations of the town and it’s wider hinterland”.
People were in real shock today around town as they recalled the heyday of the premises in the 60s and 70s when there was an almost three year waiting list to have a wedding in the Hotel and Brendan Shine and his band were the Resident Wedding band of the 60s!
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