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Tuesday, 26th March 2024

Councillors and officials in damage limitation talks in wake of D Hotel closure

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Councillors and officials meeting last night.

The unilateral decision of government to close Drogheda's largest main hotel came as a shock to everyone including the elected members and officials of Louth County Council.

Following a meeting held last night however, they say they are not going to cease in their efforts to develop and enhance the town as a tourist destination.

Deputy Mayor of Drogheda, Kevin Callan, had asked Council management to arrange a joint session with the councillors in Drogheda who have at all stages since the decision was announced, acted as a cross party coordinated grouping and officials in areas from finance, economic development, tourism, night time economy and grant applications.

The first of these meetings was held on Monday and a number of areas were discussed including vacant buildings, planning processes for the upper levels of business premises across the town to be converted, the total number of beds in operation in and around Drogheda, the day trip market, packaging trips, hostel accommodation and camper van facilities in the county and the new national park at Dowth.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr. Callan said he had asked for this meeting as the first in a series of meetings with tourism stakeholders, hospitality businesses, hotels in the coming weeks.

“As we start to plan how to combat the loss of the hotel, we simply have to pull together and get on with it locally as we are not being supported at national level” Callan said.

“To have this first step with senior Directors of Service and management team is a really positive stage of what will be a hard but worthwhile effort.

“Back in 2009 our tourism levels were low, we opened the Tholsel as our tourist office and in 2011 got the North America Tour Operators in and did familiarisation trips to pitch the town, all of this paid off and we have had a healthy tourism trade.

“We can and will overcome this hurdle but we will do it locally and in a united way. I have seen first-hand over ten years the work that council officials have put into this and we will get this situation back from where it has been left by the minister's decision. 

“We are extremely lucky to have some extremely proactive and positive local businesses that in accommodation, hospitality, catering and other associated areas have made Drogheda the great tourist location that it is and we want to see this response include these key players in the push to hold our tourism potential. We will be reaching out in the coming days to move the response on.”

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