Ballybunion Golf Hotel Closes its Doors

The Ballybunion Golf Hotel in Ireland is almost as well known as the golf course it sits next to. Countless golfers have stayed in the 100-room hostelry, which is on Ballybunion’s Main Street and, with six floors, is the tallest building in County Kerry. However, according to the Irish Examiner newspaper, the hotel announced earlier this week that it is closing. On the hotel’s Facebook page, owner Michael Carr blamed a lack of support from Irish tourism officials and the absence of an “independent tourism organisation in Ballybunion.” Plus, he cited “false information,” spread by local politicians late last year, that the town would be hosting “up to 200 asylum seekers” coming from the Middle East in the wake of the refugee crisis overwhelming Europe. Carr said he had made an offer to the British government to house a maximum of 25 refugees, but that “the speculation had an adverse impact on his business” and that bookings “completely collapsed.” He also was the victim of threats. This was to be the hotel’s 50th anniversary year; instead, its contents will be sold off over the next month with a private auction to take place on March 26.