The news began to circulate in the past few days that the Aherlow House Hotel would close with immediate effect with over 25 jobs lost in the process. The job losses are only one side of the human story. This morning as the news begins to sink in that the hotel has closed, over 40 wedding couples have been left in the dark regarding their wedding arrangements and the deposits they have paid to Aherlow House Hotel.
All couples have stated that they have been “left in the dark” by the Aherlow Hotel and felt their trust was betrayed in planning what will be the biggest day of these couples lives. With over €60,000 set to be lost by the couples as a result of the closure, the Tipperary Times spoke to some of the couples involved to understand the impact that the closure is having on them.
The first couple we spoke to were a couple from just outside Tipperary town. There was a definite sense of frustration as the couple had been left in the dark by the hotel. “We’re not as bad as most people because our wedding is not due until August 2017 however we have paid half a deposit. We decided to go with Aherlow as I live near there and we booked for August. The staff were great and we agreed to pay the deposit but only every month”. I asked the couple if there had there been any indications that the hotel was in trouble or that they wouldn’t be able to fulfil their booking. “No not at all” stated the bride to be “Everything was going smoothly. The wedding co coordinator was brilliant. We were in contact every month since November”.
I went on to ask the couple if there had been any indications that the venue was in difficulty and when did they learn of the closure to which they replied “We found out on Tuesday through my friend. So I checked their (Aherlow House Hotels) Facebook page which I followed and realised the page was empty. I had known it was closed for the winter months but I rang up that night and the voicemail indicated it would be opening back up on the 12th. My fiancée (the groom) had just paid part of a deposit last week. No mention of issues!!”
William Tierney also spoke to Tipperary Times about his experience. Clearly frustrated and angered by the situation, Mr Tierney told us how he was looking forward to the wedding. “I am getting married to Billie Jean on 4th August this year. We were looking forward to the wedding, but everything has started to go downhill now. We paid the Aherlow Hotel €1500 so far.”
The Tierney’s should have been enjoying the birth of their daughter yesterday but have had to instead try put the pieces of their wedding dream back together. “Yesterday my first daughter was born 3 months premature – instead of enjoying the first few hours of her life I had to put up with this crap and attempt to find another hotel.”
Each of the couples we have spoken to have spoken of how they felt betrayed by Aherlow House Hotel who gave no indication that the hotel was about to enter receivership. Each of the couples should be looking forward to the happiest day of their lives, planning photographers and invites, instead due to the scandalous behaviour of the Aherlow Hotel, these 40 couples stand to lose over €60,000 in deposits paid.
In the coming days and weeks, we will learn more regarding the fate of the couples and if they will be able to have their weddings in the Aherlow house or if they will receive their deposits back. Should the hotel wish to maintain any credibility and if the potential buyers of the venue wish to make it a success, they must immediately look at the couples who have been traumatised by the their wedding plans being thrown into disarray.