Hotel workers who fear their jobs are at risk have been left in limbo after the complex owner failed to attend a meeting this morning to discuss the future of the business.
The Armagh-based developer, who bought the Blarney Golf Resort north of Cork City just over two years ago, pulled out of this morning’s scheduled meeting with the staff just days after he ordered the immediate and indefinite closure of the resort’s leisure and gym complex.
While the hotel was always due to close for January, staff were until last weekend operating under the assumption that it would reopen for business in February.
But the sudden closure of the leisure centre and pool have raised fears for the future of the resort and the 80 jobs there. The golf course is operating as normal.
However, rumours are swirling locally that the complex is being considered as a direct provision centre.
The hotel staff were told last weekend to attend a briefing at the hotel this morning where they hoped the owner would explain what was happening.
But hotel managers were told last night that he would not be attending. Efforts to contact him have been unsuccessful.
The staff went ahead with the meeting anyway and a number of them invited Cork North-Central Socialist Party TD Mick Barry to attend.
He spent almost three hours listening to their concerns and outlining their rights and entitlements before he read an interim statement on their behalf outside the hotel at lunchtime.
“The staff have been starved of information. They are in the dark as to what the future of this place is,” he said.
“They are expecting a lot of queries this afternoon - from members of the golf club, members of the leisure club, people who have booked the hotel for functions. They have asked me to communicate that the workers are not in a position to say exactly what’s happening because they’ve been kept in the dark themselves and for people to be understanding of that.
They have decided to communicate with the owner themselves and to urgently request a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible.
"And they have decided this morning to form a group of workers, the golfer workers, the leisure centre workers and the hotel workers, all altogether and they have elected a committee to request that meeting with the owner and to seek to defend the interests of the large enough number of workers.”