Killarney GC’s bank withdraws credit12th April, 2013 by Tania Longmire
More than 50 per cent of the staff at one of Ireland’s premier golfing venues have been made redundant as its bank has withdrawn all credit facilities available for it.
Golf clubs in Ireland have been particularly badly hit by the economic downturn of the last few years with, for example, Blarney Golf Resort being put up for sale at a fraction of what it cost to build it and Limerick County Golf and Country Club closing down.
Now Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, which hosted the Irish Open in 2010 and 2011, has revealed that it has made 21 of its 41 members of staff redundant.
A spokesman said that this was due to “recession-related trading difficulties” that have resulted in the club’s bank taking “the decision to withdraw all credit facilities going forward”.
He said that the club is now implementing a three-year plan in order to meet the challenges of the future.
“Following a detailed business overview, which has been in progress since last year, a major restructuring plan has now been put in place to enable the club to remain viable during very testing times,” added the spokesman.
“As part of the process to safeguard the facility’s future, it is with real regret that management has informed the club’s 41 staff of the requirement to implement up to 21 redundancies. A number of jobs will be created, however, through the outsourcing of some of these roles.”
The club has seen its membership drop by 220 – 20 per cent – and has seen a similar percentage reduction in forecasted green fees, while visitor numbers and course maintenance have both been hit by adverse weather conditions in recent years.
The club, however, has cleared all its debts and has been paying creditors in a timely manner, added the spokesman.
Killarney Golf and Fishing Club’s general manager, Maurice O’Meara, said it is with great regret that the redundancies have been made, but the club’s future needs to be secured.
“We have retained as many jobs as possible in the circumstances but it is a source of great regret that positions are being lost,” he said.
“I would like to thank the staff for the great service they have given to the club and I wish them well for the future.
“We need to act now to secure the long-term future of the club which, as a top quality tourist attraction, is a great asset for Killarney and Kerry.”
Mr O’Meara added that the club has worked with professional services consultant Deloitte to extensively evaluate the club’s trading performance and revenue streams, projective green fees, membership subscriptions, retail income, marketing activity and operational, maintenance and labour costs to identify the key actions.
“We are working very hard to ensure that members and visitors will continue to enjoy one of the finest golf clubs in the country,” he said.