Last Christmas' at The Venue due to policy hikes and ‘messy' clients

November 20th, 2019 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

O'Donovans in Clonakilty is to close its nightclub.

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CLONAKILTY’S only nightclub is to close on Christmas Day, due to spiralling insurance costs.

Dena O’Donovan, who runs O’Donovan’s Hotel and The Venue nightclub with her brother Tom and sister Therese, confirmed to The Southern Star: ‘Our due date for insurance is Christmas Day and we will not function after that as a nightclub – because of insurance costs.’

She said Alliance – which has already publicly indicated that it is moving away from insuring high-risk ventures such as creches, adventure centre, playgrounds and nightclubs – had offered insurance cover, but at a whopping 40% increase.

She confirmed that the company was reluctant to even offer them a quote, so they took the decision to close the nightclub, which has been in existence for 40 years.

Dena said there were two other factors that influenced their decision. ‘Worldwide,’ she said, ‘there is a move away from nightclubs, as if they have gone out of fashion and more people are now socialising in their own homes.’

Secondly, she said, they, as a family, had grown concerned about the way things have got ‘messier’ in recent years. 

Dena said it seemed as if people are less able to handle their drink and that, combined with the increase in drug usage throughout West Cork, made it ‘a much more hazardous business.’

Dena said: ‘The Venue was always a popular and well-run venue, but the time has come to close it.’

Dena also told said that the costs involved in running a nightclub are ‘huge and unstainable.’ She said it involves wages for five or six door staff at €130 each, which includes a €40 insurance levy; a late-night bar licence at €450, fees for the solicitor and DJ; lighting, heating and maintenance. Overall, she said, it could be as much as €2,000, which means they would have to sell 200 €10 tickets just to break even. The only other nightclub in Clonakilty was at the Emmet Hotel which closed at the start of the summer.

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

Insurance costs, coupled with the costs of extensions and changing socialising habits, were cited as the main reasons for the closure of Macroom’s only nightclub.

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