Blow for Limerick as Clohessy’s sports pub forced to close

The decline in Limerick city centre trading claimed another casualty yesterday with the closure of a well-known sports pub, Clohessy’s at Howley’s Quay.

Former international rugby player Peter Clohessy opened the business 13 years ago in partnership with five Cork investors.

The Sin Bin nightsclub and a recently opened restaurant attached to the premises have also closed with a reported jobs loss of up to 60 full and part-time staff.

Mr Clohessy had teamed up with Tom O’Riordan from Kinsale, John Gaffney and Tom Kingston, both from Waterfall; Barry Harte from Timoleague and Brian Smith from Montenotte to open Clohessy’s which became the city’s best known rendezvous for visiting rugby fans.

Mr Kingston and Mr Gaffney recently resigned as directors.

It is believed the business had suffered recent losses of up to €500,000 and had a number of creditors.

Mr Clohessy still runs the nearby Small Claws Bar and Crokers Bar in Murroe which have not been affected.

He recently conceded the city centre business had suffered greatly over an 18-month period due to continuing road works and the redevelopment of Howley’s Quay which included a new boardwalk.

At the time, Mr Clohessy said he would be refusing to pay outstanding commercial rates to Limerick City Council.

A notice on the door yesterday read: “Clohessy’s bar Ltd has ceased trading from the 5th of October 2014. It will remain closed until further notice. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all our customers who supported us over the years.”

Helen O’Donnell, chairperson of the Limerick City Centre Business Association, said yesterday the closure was another blow to the city.

“Clohessy’s bar and the nightclub, the Sin Bin, was nationally and internationally known among rugby people. Unfortunately, some businesses are unable to hang in there and this follows the closure of the famous Helene Modes fashion store a few weeks ago. Business people in the city centre are trying their best and the huge plans for the city centre are coming too late for some,” she said.

“It is critical now that the plan for a new University of Limerick city centre campus is activated.

“This latest news about Clohessy’s is terribly disappointing for Peter and his family. Everybody is trying their best to counter the lack of footfall in the city centre. There are a number of vacant prime sites in the city centre such as The Opera Centre and the Hanging Basket which are crying out for development. We need to see cranes on the city centre skyline now.”

Meanwhile, another well-known Limerick pub, The Bank on O’Connell Street, is to re-open after being closed for five years.

New owners who acquired it from a receiver have leased it for 14 years to a third party. Limerick Circuit Court approved the revival of the licence.

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