Kerry pitchers unable to find hotel rooms in Dublin

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A shortage of affordable hotel rooms in Dublin means the County Kerry pitchers – runners-up in next month’s Joe McDonagh Cup – will make the one-day return trip for their match at Croke Park.

Patrick O’Sullivan, chairman of Kerry County Council, told RTÉ’s News At One of the efforts they had made to find pitchers accommodation.

He said they have been rounding up hotels in Dublin and on Monday they couldn’t go anywhere as they were booking for 45-50 people.

Later, two hotels returned with prices of €13,000-15,000.

He said the players had a meeting as even the players’ families couldn’t get rooms and they were offered €1,100 for a family, with former players also struggling because of the prices.

The decision was made for the team to go home after the game.

Kerry GAA also decided at this time to pre-pay accommodation for a football game they have not yet qualified for and therefore do not know when or if it will take place.

The County Council has pre-paid €13,000 for hotel rooms on the weekend of the All-Ireland Football Quarter-Finals or run the risk of the same problem as the pitchers.

“Prices were £17,000-13,000 because of the gigs in Dublin that night they barely had room for a Saturday night,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“If we play on a Saturday night, we don’t have accommodation for Friday night.

“About 85% of the time we play our games on a Sunday, so we took a chance and booked for Sunday.”

The Irish Independent today reported that pitchers from Kerry could not lodge near the town.

The Kerry GAA experience has once again drawn attention to the extraordinary prices demanded of anyone looking for a hotel room in the capital, especially if they book at the last minute.

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“The prices were exorbitant”

On departures from Dublin Airport today, tourists leaving Ireland spoke of their experiences of high prices here.

A man returning to the United States said the cost and availability of hotel rooms was a huge issue.

“I came to Dublin after looking online and couldn’t find anything unless I was prepared to pay €500 a night,” he said.

“I thought when I got here I might find something but I couldn’t and had to go down to Co Wicklow to find a room.”

He didn’t rent a car, but considered one in case he found himself homeless.

“One of my concerns at a time when I couldn’t find a room, I thought if I rented a car I could at least drive somewhere I could find a room or if things got bad I could sleeping in the car. There were no rooms to be had.”

A Frenchwoman arriving at the airport for a flight home tomorrow morning said the costs in Ireland were ‘absolutely insane’.

She said food, fuel and car hire were very expensive and while she was staying at a hotel for €200 which had been pre-booked, she was shocked at the prices she was quoted for accommodation tonight and will sleep at the airport instead.

“I couldn’t find anything cheap…everything was €500 or €600 and even €1,200, so it’s really, really expensive.”

Another man from London, here for a business conference, said the prices were outrageous.

“It was €600 for three nights. It didn’t include breakfast, dinner or anything.”

He also commented on the price of a pint: “€6.50…that’s crazy. I’m from London and it’s even more exorbitant than that.”

The Irish Hotel Federation admits that prices are high if people book last minute, but advance bookings are cheaper.

IHF President Denyse Campbell says the problem of high hotel prices will “take care of itself”

IHF President Denyse Campbell said: “We are seeing a strong recovery after two and a half very difficult years and there is currently a strong demand for accommodation in Dublin.

“A lot of our business at the moment was pre-booked from 2020 and 2021 for touring and group business and it’s in Dublin now, we’ve also picked up our corporate and conference business , and there are also a number of events in the city .

“All of this puts pressure on accommodation and our offer is quite short.

“Some hotels handed over their stock to the government at this time and some hotels which were due to open did not due to Covid.”

Ms Campbell said the costs of the hotels themselves had also increased significantly.

“Our energy costs have increased by 88%, food and beverages have increased by 20% and our linen costs have increased by 30% in some hotels. As a result, like any other industry, we are under enormous pressure on our costs “, she says.

So how long does the IHF President think this period of high prices will last?

“I would say it will wash out in a few months, we’re in high season right now,” she said.

“It’s temporary, it’s the next two months and in the meantime we urge people if they come to Dublin to book ahead.”

Regarding the special 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector which was recently extended by the government for six months, Ms Campbell said it was good for the industry and that if they were to return to the 13.5% rate, they would be completely uncompetitive. .

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