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Insurance costs largely to blame for decision to close nightclub

September 1st, 2019 6:27 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The nightclub closed because of a combination of a change in drinking habits and the spiralling cost of insurance.

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RISING insurance costs, coupled with the costs of bar extensions and changing socialising habits, are the main reasons to blame for the closure of Macroom’s only nightclub, according to its former manager.

After 30 years in business, O’Riada’s Nightclub closed its doors for the very last time on Saturday August 10th, leading to the loss of 15 part-time jobs. 

These job losses include that of head bouncer Con Murphy, who manned the doors for the past 29 years and resident DJ Mike O’Sullivan who manned the decks there for seven years.

Speaking to The Southern Star following the closure, manager Mary Rose Shanahan said it was a hard decision to make for her and her aunty Rose, owner of the club for the past 15 years.

‘We had been humming and hawing about its future over the last few months, but we finally made the decision to close it this month,’ said Mary Rose.

‘The fact is that nightclubs are becoming less appealing to manage and it can be too risky to have a dancefloor from an insurance perspective,’ she added.

Mary Rose said one of the main reasons they closed was the cost of getting a weekly bar extension for Saturday night.

‘For the extra hour we had to pay €400 and in that hour we may not have even covered the cost, as the punters would only be coming in after the pubs close.’

She also said that the costs of insurance was killing small businesses like themselves.

‘We have had a few claims down through the years and that in turn led to our insurance shooting up. What has happened now is that there are fewer available insurance companies to cover nightclubs which means there is less competition and thus higher premium costs,’ added Mary Rose. 

The changing habits of how young punters socialise and drink at home before heading to the nightclubs was also a factor to take into account, when deciding to close.

‘The nightclub was absolutely packed on our last night and it was wonderful that everyone came out to support us. I guess it didn’t hit home that it was closing for good and there were a few tears shed by us all,’ she said.

Mary Rose said they are undecided about their next step, but may look at different options of using the building.

Clonakilty also lost a nightclub in recent months, when The Clubhouse at The Emmet Hotel closed at the start of the summer. 

In a post on the Clubhouse’s page on Facebook, the owners said that the nightclub will now become a part of the Emmet Hotel for functions, parties and celebrations.

‘We would like to thank everyone who supported The Clubhouse over the years and everyone who works here from our bar staff, our DJs, our security staff and door staff,’ it said.

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