When Level 3 kicked in, Dublin’s hotels were hit fast and hard.
estaurant fridges were full, staff rostered for the weekend. Phones had been ringing since the rumours started, but when An Taoiseach confirmed the lockdown that Friday afternoon, cancellations really started flooding in.
“We saw 50pc of what we had on the books for the weekend cancelling straight away,” says David O’Connell of the Tifco Hotel Group, whose Dublin hotels include Clontarf Castle, the Hard Rock and two Crowne Plazas.
“The business we had on the books has fallen off a cliff.”
In Buswells on Molesworth Street the following week, Paul Gallagher tweeted a photo of himself in chef’s whites in the kitchen.
He had had to let 54 staff go, the General Manager explained, “so we are running a slimmed-down, loss-making hotel with just six great staff”.
Dublin had already been suffering. Through summer, according to the Irish