Killarney B&Bs suffer cancellations over delayed reopening

B&B lobby group expresses concern over Ireland’s closure as rest of Europe reopens

Mary Guerin in the Killarney View House bed and breakfast: She had expected to be full by Thursday but there was ‘a noticeable dip’ since the announcement. Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

Mary Guerin in the Killarney View House bed and breakfast: She had expected to be full by Thursday but there was ‘a noticeable dip’ since the announcement. Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

 

The effects of the Government’s decision to delay the reopening of indoor hospitality on July 5th has already begun to affect other businesses, if Killarney offers any example.

On the Muckross Road, Mary Guerin in the Killarney View House bed and breakfast has already seen the cancellations of bookings that were made before the Cabinet’s action.

By Thursday she had expected to be full for the weekend, particularly with the fine weather Kerry is enjoying. But there was “a noticeable dip since Tuesday”, she told The Irish Times.

Many B&Bs in the town had timed their reopening alongside the expected return of indoor pubs and restaurants, especially since most are able to offer a full meals service for their guests.

Thirty-minute delays for outdoor dining are common at weekends. “People are trying their best,” said a Youghal woman, who was staying with her husband in the Brehon, but had wanted to eat away from the hotel for one night.

Helena Healy, chief executive of B&B Ireland, the trade’s lobby group, said they were “very concerned” that Ireland was being portrayed as a country that “is closed while the rest of Europe is open”.

Some cancellations were coming as a result, she said. “Some B&Bs are still thinking about reopening, this does not help. Some have decided to wait until next year,” she told The Irish Times.

Losses

Kathleen O’Regan-Sheppard, who runs a four-star bed and breakfast on the Tralee Road, a mile north of Killarney’s town centre, has already suffered losses in the wake of the Government’s announcement.

A party of French people have decided they are not coming to Ireland now, while there were cancellations coming from elsewhere in Europe, too, she said. “This is resulting in thousands of euro in loss of income for B&Bs,” she said.

Acknowledging the public health advice, the Killarney Chamber of Commerce said there was “an enormous sense of disappointment following the decision to defer the planned reopening of indoor pubs and restaurants”.

“It is having a devastating impact on their businesses, on their staff and on their families, and the consequences for the economy and for those seeking meaningful employment opportunities are of great concern,” the chamber said.