Published: Tue, 12 November 2013
Sean Kelly MEP has requested that the GAA sets up a special committee to seriously evaluate buying its historic birthplace of Hayes Hotel in Tipperary or other possible ways to preserve the building.
The Former GAA President, who has raised the issue on several occasions with the GAA in recent years, says his proposal is under time pressure since the 34-bedroom Thurles Hotel was placed into receivership in April 2013.
Mr Kelly voiced disappointment when the GAA previously responded to his request stating that the sports organisation did not intend to purchase the hotel.
However, this week the South MEP has again written to the GAA’s Director General Padraig Duffy calling for a special committee to be established to evaluate the proposal and to process the matter.
“The hotel is in receivership so my proposal is time sensitive. I have again urged the GAA to evaluate the prospect of buying the hotel or other possibilities to preserve the building seriously.”
Mr Kelly described the hotel as “an iconic landmark” as the birthplace of the Association.
“It is a place of enormous cultural and historical importance for our country and the Irish diaspora. It is only right that we protect the very building where our great Association was founded in 1884.
“I also firmly believe it has huge tourism potential and could become a major regional attraction in Tipperary, if developed wisely.”
Mr Kelly also welcomed recent cross-party political concern on the matter: “The level of cross-party political support for GAA involvement with Hayes Hotel in Thurles is indicative of the wider public support there would be for such a project.”
Accountants Kieran Wallace and Padraic Monaghan of KPMG were appointed as joint receivers over Hayes Hotel, Thurles on April 24th 2013.