40 staff get ‘stay home’ texts as Clancy’s bar shuts down

Up to 40 people lost their jobs by text yesterday following the sudden closure of one of Cork City’s oldest bars.

Clancy's Bar and Restaurant in Cork city centre which has ceased trading. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Staff of Clancy’s bar and restaurant on Prince’s St, where a bar has been trading since 1824, got texts at 3.08am telling them the pub was closing.

“We are so so very sorry to say there is no need to come to work tomorrow,” the text read.

“Unfortunately, due to economic circumstances, we have had to cease trading and won’t be reopening again,” it read.

The message assured staff that their outstanding wages and holiday pay would be transferred to their bank account, and that P45s would be issued by post.

It concluded: “I really wish it didn’t come to this and I do feel sorry for everyone. I will be in touch when I know more,” the message read.

Staff met outside the bar yesterday to discuss their options. Several functions, which were booked in recent weeks, have also been affected.

Siobhan, who has worked as a chef in Clancy’s for almost 27 years, told Neil Prendeville on RedFM that the closure came as a shock to them.

However, publican Tony Campion, who along with his business partner, Barry Rafferty, leased Clancy’s through Rafferty and Campion Holdings Ltd, said the writing had been on the wall for some time. He confirmed the company is facing liquidation.

“We took it (Clancy’s) over in November 2010, on a 10-year lease, when the country was in crisis. We tried for six-and-a-half years to make it work, but it was always a struggle. It never turned a profit. We always had a successful last quarter, but it just wasn’t enough to carry the business through the other nine months,” Mr Campion said.

“It’s not a happy situation, especially when you have between 35 and 40 people losing their jobs,” he said.

He cited high rents and commercial rates, parking issues, and the risk of city centre flooding — the business was shut for up to 13 weeks after a flood in 2014 — as contributory factors.

Clancy’s landlord Colin Ross, who ran the bar for 13 years before leasing it in 2010, said he was disappointed for the staff and sad to see the bar close.

“No formal decision has been made about the future of the premises,” he said.



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