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Tag Archives: Michael Vaughan

Clare hotelier – Shannon Heathrow slots at mercy of IAG

THE Heathrow slots at Shannon could become vulnerable after the current obligation on IAG to retain them at the Clare airport expires in September 2022, but with airlines now requiring public support, there is an opportunity for the Government to secure the connectivity. That’s the view of Lahinch hotelier Michael Vaughan, a former President of the Irish Hotels Federation. “Those slots are in the hands of IAG now to do what they want. I think it’s a very serious concern and I’m glad it’s being raised. It was on a lot of people’s minds before the pandemic. “Now IAG are asking the UK government for an immediate bilateral to establish an air corridor between the US and the UK. You could be looking at a greater yield on them for transatlantic as opposed to Shannon. I’d fear for it, certainly. “I know there were attempts earlier on to ensure that what amounted to State aid to Aer Lingus would be …

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Holidaymakers urged to stay away from Kilkee for health reasons

A former Mayor of Kilkee has urged tourists and visitors to stay away from the West Clare holiday hotspot during the holiday period to minimise the spread of Covid-19. While Claire Haugh stressed holidaymakers are normally very welcome in Kilkee, she is concerned that any large influx of people into the town could result in the unwanted transmission of the virus. “It is a hugely difficult and dangerous time for everyone and the safety of people in Kilkee is paramount. We welcome visitors all year round but these are different and frightening times. “People in Kilkee are trying to mind ourselves and visitors should be cautious of their own health. “There will be good times ahead when the vaccine comes in and then there will be a thousand welcomes for people to come to Kilkee. “When things get better, the doors will be wide open to welcome them as usual. We love having visitors in Kilkee and it is great …

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‘Body blow’ for hospitality as Covid restrictions make an early return

THE return of Level 5 restrictions, which will force gastropubs and restaurants to close from the afternoon of December 24, has been described as “a body blow” to the sector. Fears are growing for the future viability of the hospitality industry in Clare, with a warning that many businesses will face closure in the New Year, unless government supports are stepped up. Reaction in Clare to Tuesday’s announcement that restrictions are to be re-imposed from Christmas Eve, has ranged from resignation in the face of a third wave of Covid-19 to anger at the perceived delay in breaking the news. “This is very disappointing and word got out through a series of Chinese whispers,” said Clare Chair of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) Darragh McAllister. “The way that the details were leaked [last weekend] is shoddy, amateur and no way to run a country. There are huge problems now for the gastropubs in terms of all of the stock …

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Staycation honeymooners provide Clare tourism boost

A BOOST to hotel trade in parts of Clare has come in the form of newly-weds honeymooning at home this year. With a raft of Covid-19 related rules curtailing the size of gatherings at weddings, many have opted to defer their nuptials, but those who are tying the knot in the time of coronavirus, are providing tourism operations with a very welcome staycation boost. “I have seen a lot of Irish honeymooners coming to Clare,” said Lahinch hotelier Michael Vaughan. “My stocks of champagne are much depleted and anecdotally I’m hearing that couples who are staying in the country for their honeymoons are getting to discover what the country has to offer. I think there is a silver lining here in that people are quite surprised by what their own country has to offer.” In terms of his own business, the former Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) president said that while visitor numbers had been strong in August, he estimate that …

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More measures needed to boost tourism – Michael Vaughan

HOTEL closures imposed by Covid-19 restrictions has cost a Lahinch hotelier a drop of €425,000 in turnover at the end of July compared with the corresponding period last year. Michael Vaughan who runs Vaughan Lodge predicts that regardless what happens for the remainder of the tourism season 2020 will be a loss-making year. Commenting on the publication of the new coalition’s much anticipated July Stimulus, the former Irish Hotels’ Federation (IHF) president also estimates he is unlikely to do one tenth of the turnover he generated last year. Mr Vaughan expressed disappointment over the government’s decision to leave the tourism 13.5% VAT rate for accommodation and food unchanged in line with their counterparts in Northern Ireland who are now benefiting from a 5% rate. He claimed the new Staycation tax rebate involved a very complicated system, which has excluded a large amount of people who may not have the income to benefit from this initiative. In view of the fact …

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New figures reveal threat to Clare tourism jobs

ALMOST 9,000 jobs in hospitality and tourism in Clare are at immediate risk, with the sector braced for what industry leaders are calling “an impending disaster”. While hotels and pubs serving food are set to re-open from next Monday, representative groups are concerned about the chances of salvaging the 2020 season. An industry briefing for Clare, prepared for the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), reveals that 8,800 jobs are at risk in 2020. The figure represents close to 75% of all jobs in the industry in Clare, and the same percentage of the total revenue the sector generates for the county. “Up until recently, tourism and hospitality across Clare supported 12,000 jobs and generated €266 in revenues annual for the local economy,” the IHF briefing stated. “We are now facing a deepening crisis with 8,800 tourism jobs at risk across Clare and local tourism revenues estimated to drop by €200 million as businesses fight for survival,” Responding to the figures, North …

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No mad dash to Lahinch on Monday

THERE was no mad dash into the water at Lahinch on Monday, when a further easing on the Covid-19 restrictions allowed people to travel within their own county. Local hotelier Michael Vaughan said there was increased activity at the resort, but not too much. From his perch at Vaughan Lodge Hotel he could observe a quiet golf course, in stark contrast to last year when numbers were good, and the Irish Open in July was the highlight. Michael said on Monday people were essentially coming to Lahinch “to watch”. He described as “eerie” the atmosphere around Lahinch, with people there but no restaurants, pubs or hotels open to cater for them. He said some people might even be “spooked” at the idea of travelling too far from home, having been confined to 5k. Michael intends to reopen on July but doesn’t expect this 22-bed hotel to be sold out. “I should have one-third occupancy and my target for the season …

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Timmy Dooley

Timmy Dooley Misses Out in Seanad Bid

TWO Clare candidates have lost out in their bid to secure a place on the Industrial and Commercial Panel of Seanad Éireann. The development means that former Fianna Fáil TD, Timmy Dooley, has failed in his bid to return to the Oireachtas. The Mountshannon native was one of the surprise casualties of February’s General Election, and having formerly been a member of the Upper House, was thought to have been in with a strong chance of taking a Seanad seat. While he secured 35 first preference votes from the Industrial and Commercial Panel electorate which is comprised of local authority members, he was eliminated on the twenty-first count on a total of 52 votes. Also seeking election to that panel was prominent Clare hotelier and former President of the Irish Hotels Federation, Michael Vaughan. The Lahinch man, a first-time candidate, was eliminated on the fifth count. Counting for the Administrative Panel continues today with two Clare candidates in contention, for …

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