Hotel says farewell to ‘resident’ Ben after 17-year stay

THE owners of one of the country’s oldest family-run hotels are in mourning after a cherished ‘resident’ checked out for the big kennel in the sky.

The O’Donovan family, who run historic O’Donovan’s Hotel in Clonakilty, Co Cork, said goodbye to their pet, Ben, a loveable 17-year-old border collie and retriever mix, at the weekend.

“We took the decision to put him down on Saturday,” Dena O’Donovan said. “He had been losing a lot of weight and knowing him for the last 17 years, we knew he was coming to his end. His lungs and heart just gave up. It was a very tough decision to make.”

Ben was part of the character and fabric of the hotel and was often jokingly referred to as its ‘head of security’, and was well-known about the town.

The family got him from a local farmer in 1993 when he was just two months old.

Since then, he has been a regular feature in the hotel, preferring the quiet times between 6am and 3pm when families and children were around.

He was taken for long walks by hotel guests, would sit in on coffee mornings, and would wander around the local street market where everyone knew him by name.

He met Liam Neeson and his family, and would have been known to Christy Moore and Mary Black, who regularly play at De Barra’s down the street.

Dena said Ben had a long and happy life, due in no small part to “good hotel food” like Eddie Twomey’s sausages and Clonakilty black pudding.

And he was so loved by hotel guests that some sent him postcards upon their return home – including one from Bali a few years ago.


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