Galway hotel owner attacks roundabout proposals

The owner of a well-known Galway hotel has slammed plans for proposed changes to a major roundabout in the city insisting that it would be “massively devastating” for his hotel business.

In May officials from Galway City Council presented plans for changes to the Kirwan roundabout which proposed the current five lanes be reduced to four and the exit at the Menlo Park Hotel or the Liosbán Industrial Estate be excluded. However, many residents and businesses located in the Menlo area have raised objections to the proposed changes insisting jobs will be put at risk and that major inconveniences will result from the proposed works. In an interview this week the owner of the Menlo Park Hotel, John Francis, said Galway City Council were using “divide and conquer” tactics by placing the residents of Menlo against the businesses based in the Liosbán Industrial Estate.  In a report in a local Galway newspaper Mr Francis said the process was unfair, highlighting that no approaches had been made by city officials to the management of the Menlo Park Hotel. Mr Francis is reported to have said: “It seems like the path of least resistance to them is to go straight to CPO rather than talk about it openly. I’m extremely unhappy about the standoffish process and lack of engagement. I think they feel it’s an easier option to steamroll it through, rather than to engage.”

Mr Francis said that there had to be some way of achieving an accommodation that addressed the concerns of residents and business owners and that more thought would be required to achieve this. He insisted the proposed works would make it “extremely difficult” for guests to access his hotel and that they could have knock-on effects for the business.

“I’d imagine we are one of the biggest employers in the area. We pay our taxes and our rates and they are not discussing this with us, just removing us from the junction and putting us down as an afterthought. It would be massively devastating for the business. The whole thing has caused an awful lot of stress to myself and to my family, the staff at the hotel don’t know where they stand and it’s just the lack of communication at the end of the day that is the biggest issue for me.”