‘Golfgate’ Clifden hotel records small loss

Facility hosted Oireachtas Golf Society event in 2020

The operator of the Clifden Station House Hotel in west Galway, which hosted the controversial "Golfgate" dinner, returned a loss of €1,571 last year. Western Railway Operations Ltd had recorded a pre-tax loss of €145,510 in the previous year.

The hotel hosted the Oireachtas Golf Society event on August 19th, 2020. The hotel business also includes self-catering apartments, an indoor swimming pool, a spa and a 220-seat theatre.

Numbers employed by the business fell last year from 38 to 27.

Two directors of the firm – hotel owner John Sweeney and his son and general manager James Sweeney – are two of the defendants in an alleged Covid regulations breach prosecution concerning the Golfgate dinner.

The two are contesting the criminal prosecution, and the case at Galway District Court is scheduled to resume later this week.

In a reference to the Covid-19 impact on business a note attached to the accounts – signed off on January 28th – said the directors were of the opinion that the company was adequately resourced to trade through the disruption brought about by Covid-19.

The directors said that Covid-19 had “resulted in serious disruption to the business”.

“It was forced to close as a result of Government-imposed trade restrictions for a significant period in 2020 and 2021, ” the note said.

It added that the tourist industry was not expected to make a reasonable recovery until the first quarter of 2022. “The international market is expected to recover during 2022 and into 2023.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times