Cashel and South Tipperary suffered a devastating tourism and jobs body blow on Monday morning when the doors of the prestigious Cashel Palace Hotel closed its doors.
Thirty two full and part time heartbroken staff assembled in the hotel to be told by the owners of the hotel, Pat and Susan Murphy, that the closure was immediate.
At an emotional two hour meeting long serving staff were informed of the closure and the loss of their jobs just weeks before Christmas causing severe shock throughout the town.
The ‘Palace’ was in the heart of Cashel playing an important role in the tourism profile the town had to offer. The 1730 Queen Anne style house had an interesting history and since it opened as a hotel in 1962 had a unique atmosphere, becoming a popular location among celebrity, actors, sports stars and heads of state.
The Cashel Palace Hotel was built in 1730 by Archbishop Theophilus Bolton. It was designed by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce who was also the architect of the Old Parliament House in Dublin, which is now the Bank of Ireland, College Green. It was first opened as a luxury Hotel by Lord Brockett in 1962.
To the rear of the Palace are beautiful gardens which contain the descendants of the original hop plants used by Richard Guinis, an agent for Archbishop Price of Cashel in the 1740s to brew the first “Wine of Ireland”.
Mr. Guinis and his son Arthur went on to brew this beer in Dublin and to found the famous Guinness Brewery at St. James’ Gate. The garden also contains The Bishops Walk to the Rock of Cashel.
Minister of State Tom Hayes said - “This is very sad news for the 32 people employed at the hotel, for their families and indeed for the town of Cashel. I am confident though that the hotel still has a future, given its location in the centre of Cashel.
“We are doing all we can to aid these businesses that find themselves in trouble and we will offer former staff at the Cashel Palace all the resources possible to help them in looking for employment or entering education.” he said.
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