The owner of an adventure park that is going to close because of spiralling insurance costs has said that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar needs to take control of the issue, “make one phone call and get it sorted.”
Dave Robinson of Rathbeggan Family Adventure Park in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, said the Taoiseach was due to visit today, but will not now do so.
“Leo had kindly offered to come meet and discuss our problems as part of his tour of Meath. We then got the message that he couldn’t come, I understand, his time is limited.”
He told RTE radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that he will have to close the adventure park in August as they cannot afford their public liability insurance bill which went up by more than 100 per cent this year to €40,000.
“I knew it was going to happen. I was dealing with five to six brokers, but some companies would not even give a quote.”
He said that they had not had a claim in five years and that it was “the industry at risk not the premises.”
Mr Robinson said that the closure will mean the loss of 26 part-time and four full-time jobs.
He admitted that he is a member of the Fine Gael party. “Somebody needs to give them a hand steering the bus. The Government has to focus, action is needed.
“The boss man should take control. Make one phone call and get it sorted.”
He added that in the past six months he has seen the insurance issue affect many small businesses. He pointed out that the Government is introducing policies to halt childhood obesity and yet more and more activity and adventure centres are having to close because of insurance increases.
“I hope Leo knows that there are too many of us clinging to the cliff edge. We are doing our best. If something breaks down in our park, we fix it overnight. This has been dragging on, it could have been pushed through.”
Mr Robinson added that if Michael Noonan “growled at the insurance industry” the issue would have been sorted.
“He’s (the Taoiseach) got so much on his plate. He must manage his Ministers under him.”