NI hotel group says exchange rate is hitting business

‘Significant decrease’ in visitors from North to Letterkenny operation

At the handover of the Dunadry Hotel were John Mooney, Felix Mooney, Eugene McKeever and Catherine McKeever.

At the handover of the Dunadry Hotel were John Mooney, Felix Mooney, Eugene McKeever and Catherine McKeever.

 

A leading family owned Northern Ireland hospitality group says there has been a “significant decrease” in the number of people from the North travelling to its only hotel in the south because of current “exchange rates”.

The McKeever Hotel Group, which owns Dillons Hotel in Letterkenny, said the weak pound verus the strength of the euro makes a trip from the North to Letterkenny a “less attractive proposition” at this time.

Next month is traditionally one of the busiest times of year for Donegal’s hospitality sector when it comes to welcoming Northern Ireland visitors. But the unfavourable exchange rates could potentially deter people from the North making the trip South this year.

Despite the current exchange rate the McKeever Group, which employs more than 200 people, has said it intends to continue investing in the tourism and hospital industry North and South

It has just acquired one of the North’s best known four star hotels; the Dunadry Hotel in County Antrim, from another Northern Ireland hotelier family, the Mooney Group for an undisclosed sum.

The 80 bedroom hotel will increase the McKeever Group’s hotel portfolio to five – it also owns Corrs Corner Hotel in Newtownabbey; Dunsilly Hotel in Antrim; Adair Arms Hotel in Ballymena and Dillons Hotel in Letterkenny.

Eugene McKeever, managing director of McKeever Hotel Group said; “The Dunadry Hotel is a great fit for the McKeever Hotel Group and given the buoyant tourism sector we are delighted to add it to our collection.

“Our hotels are very much at the heart of the local communities in which we operate. We will continue to meet the demands and requirements of the local patrons of the Dunadry Hotel and it will be very much business as usual. Current bookings will not be affected and all employees will be retained.”

The sale of the Dunadry Hotel to the McKeever family marks the end of an era for the Mooney family who had owned the hotel for 31 years.

The Mooney group continue to own and operate the Wellington Park, the Botanic Inn in Belfast and the Armagh City Hotel.

“We have no doubt the Dunadry Hotel is now in safe hands,” the Mooney family said.