Wedding day saved for smitten couple hit by hotel closures

Reception plans collapse on the double in six months, but Nenagh hotel rides to the rescue

A benevolent hotel has come to the aid of a Tipperary couple after their wedding day reception plans collapsed twice in six months due to hotel closures.

Alan Horgan and Chris Stapleton were one of 43 couples left without a venue after the sudden closure last week of the Aherlow House Hotel.

"We really didn't think we would be able to afford the wedding with only six months to go, but the reaction has been fantastic," said Ms Stapleton. Now, the Abbey Court Hotel in Nenagh has come to their aid.

“They have absolutely astounded us with their generosity and giving us a better wedding day than we’d planned at the same price.”

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Refunds

Couples had paid deposits from €1,500-€3,000 to hold their receptions in the hotel in the scenic Galtee Mountains hotel. So far, they have not received refunds.

Receiver Grant Thornton said responsibility for refunds lay with Auburn Hotels Aherlow Ltd (AHA), which leased the hotel in 2011. The lease was up for renewal in April. AHA should "not have undertaken" bookings when it had not extended its lease or "if it did not have the financial ability" to complete bookings, said the receiver.

However, AHA said responsibility lay with Grant Thornton. It had handed back the property “when requested to do so, together with the goodwill, including the 43 contracted weddings for 2016.

“It’s up to the new owner to honour the deposits in the same manner that [we] honoured the deposits in 2011.”

Rachel Flaherty

Rachel Flaherty

Rachel Flaherty is an Irish Times journalist