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Royal Hotel and Theatre and Harlequin Hotel in receivership

No job losses and ‘business as usual’ in Castlebar hotels after receivership

TF creditors to be contacted this week

Edwin McGreal

Management at the TF Royal Hotel and Theatre and Harlequin Hotel in Castlebar have moved to allay fears about the future of the business after the two hotels were placed in receivership on Friday last.
There will be no job losses at either hotel, management stress, and both will run ‘business as usual’ after being placed in receivership.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) moved on Friday last to appoint KPMG as receivers to the two hotels, owned and operated by the Jennings family. RBS also apppointed BDL, one of the UK’s largest hotel groups, as the management company for the TF and Harlequin.
KPMG are expected to contact creditors from the two hotels this week to discuss what level of payments will be made.
Rachel Cresham, Sales and Marketing Manager at the TF Royal Theatre, said that they had received a lot of inquiries about ticket sales at the Royal Theatre.
“All ticket sales are secure - a lot of people were concerned about that. We’re running business as usual in the hotel and theatre,” she said.
She conceded that the TF had endured difficulties with ticket sales in recent times which didn’t help their financial situation.
“Ticket sales around the country are suffering at the moment from the recession. The leisure pound is getting harder and harder to get,” she said.
The TF has been run by the Jennings family for two generations. First established in the 1950s by Paddy and Mary B Jennings, both now deceased, the hotel was run up until last Friday by their son Pat, and his wife, Mary.
The old ballroom at the TF was part of a major redevelopment project in recent years with the TF being one of the largest theatres outside of Dublin. The TF Royal Hotel and Theatre currently employ in the region of 40 people in full-time, part-time and casual positions.
The family business also expanded in 2006 when the Jennings’ opened Day’s Hotel close to the TF, now the Harlequin Hotel. Their manager Lynda Foley was keen to stress that nothing would change at the Harlequin.
“The message is that we’re open for business as normal, there’s no change in any staff or management. BDL have assured us that the quality of our product won’t change either - we’ll remain a four-star hotel,” she said.
The Harlequin, a 90 bedroom hotel, has a workforce in the region of 50 full-time and part-time staff.
Nearby Breaffy House Hotel was also placed in receivership in recent years.

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