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Hotels and restaurants cannot find enough staff

June 13th, 2022 3:00 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Kinsale restaurant owner Liam Edwards says he has never seen it as bad. (Photo: John Allen)

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THE busy tourist season in West Cork will struggle to meet demand this year, according to local employers.

Massive staff shortages across all sectors, but especially in hospitality, have left bosses struggling to fill roles and provide normal service hours.

One restaurateur told The Southern Star that the situation is the worst they have seen in 50 years of business and many expressed the fear that the shortages were ‘crippling’ their efforts to bounce back after the pandemic.

Others have said they will need to close for two or three days a week due to being unable to recruit staff.

The situation has come about due to a ‘perfect storm’ of factors which occurred in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The pandemic resulted in many staff moving on or re-training, while many non-nationals opted to go back to their native countries during lockdowns and have not returned.

Others say the PUP payment some students had built enough cash reserves and chose not to work this summer, with many having two years of savings available to fall back on.

The staff shortages have also been partly blamed for the cancellation of the summer Irish courses at Coláiste na Mumhan in Ballingeary, with college organisers unable to recruit, not only sufficient teachers, but also kitchen and other staff, despite an advertising campaign.

Both Ballingeary and Cape Clear will be hit hard by the lack of Irish students this summer.

Kinsale bar owner Liam Edwards said he had never seen the situation as bad, having advertised unsuccessfully since April.

Finding accommodation for staff in the town was another factor, he noted.

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