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Aoibhin Garrihy’s husband John Burke ‘very emotional’ as he’s forced to close hotel due to restrictions

The hotelier owns the Armada Hotel at Spanish Point in Co. Clare

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Aoibhin Garrihy’s husband John Burke has revealed that his hotel will have to “close its doors” due to the latest restrictions.

From midnight on Wednesday, the republic of Ireland will move to Level 5 restrictions – in a bid to stop the rising spread of Covid-19 before Christmas.

Speaking to Clare Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1, the hotelier explained how the restrictions will affect the popular Armada Hotel at Spanish Point.

John said: “At Level 4 and beyond our rooms are closing. Rooms are the bread and butter for any hotel, and we can operate some element of takeaway but we’re not really operating as a hotel, nor are we able to sustain the jobs.”

 

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“Effectively, when the announcement comes, or whenever that kicks in, the hotel is going to have to close its doors.”

John said he was able to keep staff employed during Level 3 restrictions, but that will change when the hotel closes.

“It was a huge challenge but we retained all 90 jobs that were here a lot of people were taking some holiday time. We had about 70 or so people who were still working throughout the week,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations here internally. I’ve spoken with a number of the team on the floor, to try and gauge their mood and their sentiment about the whole thing.”

The hotel owner recalled laying people off during the first lockdown, and admitted it was an “emotional time”.

John said: “There have to be layoffs. The last time, without a doubt, those were the hardest discussions and moments that I’ve ever gone through in business, and that’s what we’re facing into again.”

“It’s a highly emotional time dealing with that. These are 90 people who come from 90 households. Some of our employees are students and they’re as reliant on this sometimes as an earner within a household.”

“So it’s a very emotional time for me and all the team here but we’re going to try to hope that we see an end in sight,” he added.