Listowel Arms Hotel to reopen after fire warning to facilitate weddings
Kerry hotel agrees safety measures after fire officers issued closure order on Saturday
The Listowel Arms Hotel was issued with an immediate closure order. Image: Google Maps
The Listowel Arms Hotel, which was closed by fire officers on Saturday, is being allowed re-open to facilitate three weddings and a number of other events scheduled for the Christmas period.
The hotel has agreed to several undertakings, to engage a fire safety manager and to undertake a number of works immediately, including not to permit the lighting of candles.
It is also to install fire doors after Christmas in corridors to prevent fire and smoke spreading and ensure safe evacuation.
The hotel in the town square, the centre of social life in north Kerry, was shut down by Kerry County Council fire officers on Saturday afternoon. This followed visits on Thursday by the council’s assistant chief fire officer and a further visit on Friday by the council’s chief fire officer.
Guests who were in the busy hotel at the time were asked to evacuate the premises after the officers arrived with a notice to close on Saturday afternoon. A closed notice was placed on the door of the Georgian building.
The council’s concerns related to issues of access and egress, a special sitting of the District Court in Tralee was told on Sunday where the hotel applied for a suspension of the closure notice, pending the hearing of an appeal of the closure order under the Fire Services Act.
The main concern was to do with evacuation routes and protection of stairwells and corridors from fire and smoke as well as escape routes, the court was told.
The hotel said it would employ a fire safety consultant to inspect the premises in advance of weddings scheduled to take place on December 27th, 29th and 31st. Staff are to monitor corridors between 11pm and 7am.
The hotel has also agreed not to take any additional accommodation bookings from January 2nd, save for 13 rooms. Fire doors are to be installed at a number of locations and access areas out of the function room are to be cleared.
Judge Angela Condon lifted the closure notice. She adjourned the hearing of appeal to February .
The Listowel Arms is the main venue for the Listowel Writers’ Week and is a popular venue for weddings. It is the town’s only hotel and had been refurbished in recent years. The building is on the banks of the river Feale and hosts conferences as well as parties.