Tag Archives: closure

This morning.

Ivy Exchange, Parnell St, Dublin 1.

Damn you, Bezos.



The Oliver Saint John Gogarty pub in Dublin

This morning.

The Irish Times reports:

The possibility that pubs may not reopen until a vaccine for Covid-19 has been found has been described as a “nightmare scenario” by the body that represents Dublin publicans.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) said many pubs would be put out of business permanently if such a lengthy closure occurred.

It was commenting after Heineken Ireland put its staff on a four-day week for two months due to the fall-off in demand for its beer products.

…Minister for Health Simon Harris said at the weekend he could not see how people could return to “packed pubs” as long as the virus was still in the community and in the absence of a vaccine.


Most pubs will ‘close for good’ if lockdown lasts to 2021, vintners say (The Irish Times)



On Today with Seán O’Rourke this morning…

Noel Anderson, managing director of Lemon & Duke and vice-chairman of Licensed Vintners’ Association told Mr O’Rourke:

“All our staff, and we’re delighted for them, are currently being looked after to a point. They’re getting the €350 payment a week. But businesses haven’t been really looked after yet, in my opinion.

“And in certain areas, we’ve been left high and dry. So we feel like we’ve done our bit and we will get to where we need to be but we’re gonna need grants.

“Nobody needs a loan. Rates is currently being deferred. You’re only making the problem worse for when you open, so we’re going to need grants not loans. And then when we do open, we’re going to need massive tax assistance.”

Mr Anderson added:

“I would like to see the Government work with us a little bit better. I was pretty disappointed to read in a Sunday newspaper what was said…like, let’s sit down and have a chat about what social distancing looks like, what financial assistance looks like. Let’s not be reading it over our Cornflakes.”

Listen back in full here

National Archives on Bishop Street, Dublin 8

This afternoon.

The National Archives has announced that it is closing today until further notice.


Earlier: Reach Out And Touch

Finn’s Corner in Cork city

Echo Live reports:

Stalwart Cork business, Finn’s Corner, is set to close its doors at the end of the month after 142 years of being in the Finn family.

The beloved sportswear shop, also known for retailing uniforms, will cease trading before January 30.

At the helm of the successful enterprise is former international rugby legend, Moss Finn and his brother, Irish Angler, William Finn.

Speaking about the closure, Moss lamented the end of an era…

Landmark Cork business to close later this month after 142 years (Echo Live)

A closed Post Office in Ballybay, Co Monaghan

The public is up in arms over the closure of post offices.

Our village once had three pubs, two groceries, a butcher, a Garda station and a post office, and all this before a huge speculative building spree of new houses and an increase in population. We now are down to one pub and a hotel catering for passing traffic.

What the closed businesses did not have was the loyalty or custom of the locals. Businesses need support year round if they are to survive, and it is useless and too late to kick up a fuss when the harm is done.

John K Rogers,
Co Westmeath.

Closure of post offices (Irish Times letters page)

It is with great sadness that the staff, management and board of Filmbase announce that, after thirty two years of serving the Irish film community, the organisation is coming to a close.

Filmbase has been fighting for many years against difficult financial circumstances and as a not for profit organisation that fight has always been a tough and challenging one.

Debts which had accumulated at the organisation had reached a point where it was unrealistic for Filmbase to continue operations.

This is a decision which has been reached with great sadness by all involved and the organisation will now move into Voluntary Liquidation.

From a statement released by Filmbase, in Temple Bar, Dublin 2, this afternoon.

Read the statement in full here

Thanks John Gallen


Gino’s Cork city

A fond farewell to Winthrop Street pizza joint Gino’s in Cork city, opened in 1990, and announcing their closure quietly last night with a sign in the door.

Affordable fresh pizza and ice-cream made in-house. It seldom gets better.

Closing to make way for a Boojum.

Urban renewal.

H/T Alan Healy, Evening Echo


Inside the Brú Aimsir Hostel in November and outside the hostel this morning

You may recall the opening of the Dublin City Council-run Brú Aimsir Hostel at the Digital Hub on Thomas Street, Dublin 8 last November – as part of the council’s Cold Weather Initiative.

The 100-bed facility is now to close with 50 beds already closed, while the 42-bed John’s Lane West hostel is to also close.

In response to the closure, a group of homeless people is now occupying the building, while the Irish Housing Network is holding a demonstration outside the Dublin City Council offices on Wood Quay.

In a statement, residents of Brú said:

“Thank you for your support, please continue to do so – it could be you next week. We feel as though the dogs on the street are treated better than us. They are taken in and put in shelters so they are not roaming the streets, but the Government are willing to let people roam the streets every day.”

“One woman here came from a women’s refuse due to domestic violence. She has severe mental and medical health issues and relies heavily on Brú’s services since the beginning of March.”

“She has been approved for H.A.P. (Housing Assistance Payment) with South Dublin County Council, but is finding it extremely difficult to find anywhere suitable for her and her 12-year-old son.”

Suitable accommodation before closing John’s Lane West (Facebook)

Previously: Nice Crib, Brú

Pic: Rollingnews and Richard Chambers


An artist at studio space in Block T, Smithfield, Dublin 7

You may recall a post last week about how the people of Block T [inexpensive studio space for artists] have to vacate their premises in Smithfield, Dublin 7 – after six years – due to rent increases.

Further to this.

“This week, the team at BLOCK T are sad to announce to members the date they will be vacating their premises in Smithfield, which currently houses over 70 creative studios and workshop facilities. Our organisation is now presented with a new challenge of rehousing their 120 members, who create and produce their work from this hub on a daily basis and have been supported by BLOCK T’s independent subsidies since 2010.”

Established in the midst of the economic recession, BLOCK T was one of the first creative projects to seize the opportunity of the many vacant spaces in Smithfield, breathing a new lease of life into the area. When funding was hard to come by BLOCK T provided a new and unique model of operating artist-led initiatives and advocating for independently run cultural spaces not solely reliant on public funding.”

“Our co-founding team worked voluntarily during the start-up years, allowing it to grow into a primarily self-funded organisation.

This team of creative entrepreneurs collaborated with open-minded landlords, local businesses and arts organisations, and developed a variety social and cultural initiatives over the years, with public funding making up only 2% of its annual turnover.”

“BLOCK T has played a crucial role in the rejuvenation of the Smithfield area, welcoming over 150,000 visitors throughout the past six years. Alongside its cultural partners such as Lighthouse Cinema, Jameson Distillery, Generator Hostel Dublin, Brown Bag Films, Cobblestone and other old and new enterprises, it has fought the uphill battle to establish Smithfield and its surrounding area as a dynamic cultural destination in the city.”

“…To date BLOCK T holds an impressive list of accolades, having been the recipient of multiple awards and an instigator of unique partnerships in the city, nationally and internationally. It has facilitated and collaborated with some of Ireland’s finest cultural influencers such as Nialler9, Ensemble Music, Body & Soul, Dublin Flea, Upstart, All City Records, Knockanstockan Festival, Red Bull Music Academy, Darklight Festival, Spirit of Folk Festival, SCOOP Foundation, Hollywood Babylon, Slipdraft, Steve Doogan, Mary Cremin, Sven Anderson, Rhona Byrne, Aoibheann Greenan, Chequerboard, Patrick Kelleher, Alarmist, Meltybrains?, Fringe Festival, Innovation Dublin, Electric Picnic Festival, Bottlenote Festival, and many many more. For these partnerships, BLOCK T provided a much needed platform for creating, showcasing and exchange, which often saw new projects springboard into existence.”

“We have seen the influence of the economic turn in the market with the closure of more than half of the much loved and successful artist-led initiatives over the course of the past two years including Broadstone Studios, Basic Space, The Joinery, Moxie Studios, Mabos and Bio Space. Their presence in the cultural landscape of the city is already sorely missed.”

“…We’re inviting advocates, champions for Irish culture, interested patrons, local TDs, mentors and entrepreneurs to support us through this time of transition with advocacy, space provision and capital.

We’re looking for new partners who understand the value of social and creative enterprises, and who share our vision for sustainable creative communities for Dublin. We believe these independent spaces are not only necessary in times of economic decline, but also in time of growth.

Alternative and independent cultural spaces are what makes a city a vibrant, authentic place. Their programmes and projects enrich and diversify the output of Irish culture, which greatly contributes to its tourism industry and global reputation.

More importantly these projects play an integral role in community development, offering innovative ways to nurture and support the talent of this industry that will help fuel our economy in the years ahead.”

“…We are now facing the biggest challenge to date, and are putting out an S.O.S to the city, culture is calling!”

Public announcement (Block T)

Previously: Meanwhile, In Smithfield

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 11.07.04Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 11.32.34

Insolvency solicitor Barry Lyons and a graphic used in RTÉ One documentary, Clerys

Last night RTÉ One broadcast an hour-long documentary, by Judy Kelly, about the closure of Clerys last year with the loss of 460 jobs.

It included interviews with former employees, such as Maurice Bracken, who had worked at Clerys for 32 years.

Bracken and the other workers – some of whom worked over 40 years at Clerys – only got the statutory redundancy of two weeks’ pay per year of service.

The documentary highlighted how many of the workers felt the Clerys building on Dublin O’Connell’s street should have been sold in order to offer better redundancies.

But it explained that in 2012, the owners of Clerys, Gordon Brothers, split Clerys into two companies – a trading company, OCS Operations, and a property company, OCS Properties.

OCS Operations paid rent under a lease to OCS Properties for the use of the building. Within two and a half years, OCS Operations, which employed the staff and managed the department store, made a loss of €4.3million.

Meanwhile, OCS Properties – which has no staff – made a profit of €6.5million.

Irish Times business affairs correspondent Mark Paul explained:

The night before Clerys was closed, a group of people assembled and they conducted a transaction that eventually led to you guys losing your jobs the next day. Natrium bought the entire structure of Clerys, so they bought the parent company and that gave them the property company and the trading company and then we know that immediately, immediately upon doing that, they sold the business that was your employer, the trading company, for €1 to Jim Brydie who was an insolvency specialist.”

“Natrium wanted the operating business to be gone from the group, they wanted it to be separated, to be pushed aside and to be left on its own. It was effectively an orphan then, it had no parent company, it had no lease, it had no money and really it had no chance of survival.”

As the trading company’s lease had expired three months previous, Mr Brydie – a former director of Anglo Irish Bank in the UK – wrote to Natrium asking it to extend his lease but they wrote back immediately saying they’d send a formal notice to quit if he didn’t get out of the building.

Mr Paul commented:

“The sequence of events that was laid out to the court, the following morning, was that they all arrived here and then one business was sold and then another business was sold and then there was a board meeting and then there was another meeting with management and each action led to the next action which led to the next action… but if all these things were planned and happened simultaneously, well then, it sort of leads you to the conclusion that maybe all this was pre-ordained. It was never doing to end any other way and, if that’s the case, before any of these meetings happened, Clerys fate was already sealed and when dawn broke, the stage was set for Clerys to be liquidated.”

Mr Bracken, and another former employee, visited insolvency solicitor Barry Lyons to get a greater understanding of what happened.

Mr Lyons had no involvement in the closure of Clerys.

Barry Lyons: “There’s no doubt in my view that it was completely choreographed but at the end of the day, there is a fundamental inevitability about this taking place. The trade is declining, losses are wracking up. Overtime, somebody says, ‘we’ve got to pull the plug’. We’ve got to take a view.

Maurice Bracken: “But there was a property there. And because of some accounting formula, they were able to separate the company from the trading company. They were able to separate this and we’ve all lost.”

Lyons: “I can’t justify that. What they did was clever, you know, they carved it out, the asset out from the trade, and there you go. I mean everyone was operating on the basis that it was a trading company. Everybody knew that a receiver was appointed. Signal number one: that is not a good sign. Ultimately the property from which it traded was worth a lot of money. So what the Gordon brothers, what they did, is they protected their investment by carving out the property. So it’s very easy to demonise them but this country would be in a far worse state had they not come along and they put their money where their mouth is and they said, ‘we think this is going to come good for us’. And so when you do that, you’re entitled to a return on your money. And I think that’s what they got and this is the fallout, what you’ve described, is the fallout from that.”

Bracken: “They did make millions. Ok, we know they made millions. But they certainly didn’t come in here to help the Irish economy, they only really ever had their shareholders in mind. No one else really cared because when they left…”

Lyons: “No, no other company has anyone other than their shareholders in mind…”

Bracken: “But I think there should be some kind of duty of care to the other stakeholders.”

Lyons: “I understand why they did what they did, it makes sense from a commercial point of view and I appreciate that it hurts but, you know, there’s an orderly process that has to be undertaken. There has to be an event that says, ‘this is now over’. That is never going to happen in a nice way.”

Bracken: “Do you actually admire the way they carried out this liquidation?”

Lyons: “Well, from one point of view, it is very cynical. Do I admire it? Well it seems to have gone off without the whole thing spiralling out of control. So, you know, maybe from that point of view, you have to say, well, it was efficient.”

Watch back in full here