Recession forces hotelier to check out of business


A hotelier who built up a thriving hotel business in Killarney over 17 years was yesterday preparing to leave his business “because of this horrendous recession”.

Pat Gill of Darby O’Gill’s Hotel, which had become a popular wedding and social venue at Lissivigeen, off the main Cork-Killarney road, spoke movingly yesterday of the toll it was all taking on him, especially since the business was still thriving.

Since the crisis began he had fought “tooth and nail” to retain his hotel, which he had extended with function rooms and further accommodation – but could not get the banks to see his point of view. More than a year ago he offered €1 million to the bank in payment towards his debts but this was refused.

Some months ago the hotel was sold at a “fire sale” auction for €735,000 in Dublin. Mr Gill himself was present and was the underbidder.

“I am sure that given time and a fair chance I would have been able to work it out and would have continued at Darby’s.”

The day he bought what was then a small hotel was “one of the happiest” of his life.

Yesterday Mr Gill and his family were taking down pictures and personal items at the hotel.