Nearly 1,000 jobs saved as 61 companies secure insurance

Nearly 1,000 jobs saved as 61 companies secure insurance
Linda Murray.

A Meath business owner has won her lengthy battle to keep her play centre open at the eleventh hour by securing insurance for herself and 60 other facilities across the country.

Linda Murray refused to give up after she was refused insurance and instead fought hard to secure premium cover by two UK insurers which will save almost 1,000 jobs in the industry.

The jobs of her own 12 staff are now secure and the Navan centre Huckleberry's Den is looking forward to celebrating its sixth anniversary at the end of May.

The new insurance cover for Huckleberry's Den means a savings of €3,000 on last year's fees of €16,000 and at €13,000 is half of the €26,000 she was told she would have to pay this year if she could find anyone to insure her business.

However, Linda is seething with the lack of help from both the Government and the Irish insurance industry in her plight over the last number of months.

Since facing the prospect of closure through no insurance, she formed Play & Activity Ireland (PALI) which now has 61 members including play centres, pet farms, multi-activity centres and playgrounds.

Recently she made a tearful appeal for help before an Oireachtas Finance Committee.

Breaking the news today, Linda said: "I'm over the moon. Today could've been a much different story if I had to close but now Huckleberry's Den remains open for the future and I'm hoping customers will come and celebrate with us.

Nearly 1,000 jobs saved as 61 companies secure insurance

"My business has been saved.

"We found out on Friday evening that two UK insurers with offices in Ireland have agreed to insure all of us in the next two weeks - at premiums far less than last year.

"I feel very angry and let down though at the Irish market and the Irish Government who didn't give me one ounce of help."

"This insurance triumph is down to hard work by working with PALI, the Alliance for Insurance Reform and the UK insurers who have come on board."

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