ABBEYFEALE’S only golf course has been forced to shut its doors after two decades due to a lack of business.
Owner Stephen O’Riordan posted a short statement on the club’s website late last month informing members and patrons of his decision to close the course due to poor trading.
Mr O’Riordan told the Limerick Leader that he now fears that the bank will seize the 50 acre course which was built and opened by his father, Maurice, 20 years ago.
“There’s a lot of hopes and dreams gone. But we had some good memories there. I just want to thank all of our loyal customers over the past few years. We just have to move on and try something else”, he said.
The course at Dromtrasna Collins, just outside Abbeyfeale, had become one of the most popular sporting amenities in the area during its lifetime.
However Mr O’Riordan said that the downturn in the economy, particularly in the construction industry, had a serious knock-on effect on the golf club.
“Most of our members would have been involved in the construction industry; painters, plasterers. A lot of them have left, or might be on the dole on just can’t afford to come down playing.”
When asked what was likely to happen to the golf course, Mr O’Riordan said “I suppose the bank will come in and take that”.
Abbeyfeale golf club was opened by Maurice O’Riordan Snr in 1992, and the running of the course passed to Stephen O’Riordan following his father’s retirement five years ago.
Over the course of the last two decades the club had built up a pool of regular members and also developed a number of on-site facilities, including a driving range, snooker room, clubhouse, coffee shop and pro shop.
Affordable green fees of €10 were on offer, while at the time of closing annual membership fees were €210 for men and women, with discounted deals available for families, couples and juniors.
A short statement was posted on the website after the decision to close the course was taken. “After twenty long, wonderful years, we are closing our gates. It is due to circumstances beyond our control”, the statement read.
“We would like to thank all of our members, friends and customers throughout the past two decades for your valued support, you have all helped us reach this milestone year.
Local county councillor Liam Galvin said that the closure of the golf club comes as a major blow for Abbeyfeale.
“I know the family very well, and I know that they’ve put in huge work there over the years. I’m disappointed it’s closed, it’ll be a big loss to the town. It was another place for young lads to go, and kept them off the streets”.