Eamon Gray from the Breffni Arms Hotel beside the new Jetty at the Town Lake.

Hotel owner confident of comeback

The proprietor of the Breffni Arms Hotel in Arva is optimistic about business rebounding, following the roadmap set out by the Taoiseach Micheal Martin last week for the gradual easing of restrictions this Summer.

A clear timeline had been demanded by business leaders to allow them to plan for the future; while also letting people book staycations.

“People have been at home so long, they will be raring to travel and tour the country and visit new places,” said Mr Gray.

“Everywhere around is gearing up for lots of outdoor activities – there are loads of walks and there are lots of attractions in Cavan including the Burren, Killykeen, the County Museum in Ballyjamesduff and here in the Arva area, which is at the epicentre of the three provinces, people can go fishing, boating, bring their own canoes. They can even get fishing lessons if they so desire. There is a most unusual Dolman in the Colmcille area,” he outlined of the local tourism offering.

Mr Gray revealed that takeaway business is “quite good” and “has been keeping the wheels turning. You are in contact with the public and it is keeping them happy as well”.

He says that the outdoor dining is a good way to kick things off again and people will feel safe and build up their confidence. “Then when the opening date comes around in early June for hotels, everyone will be ready to rock,” added the hotelier.

He feels that, when the vaccine is rolled out and people have their second jab, international tourists will return and there is talk already about the possibility of Americans coming in here in July.

“The sooner the English anglers are allowed to come over here, the better. They are in constant contact, making enquiries about when they can come over here. They have rolled out the vaccine in a big way over there in the UK and hopefully we can have them over here before the Autumn,” said Mr Gray.

He is in favour of a vaccine passport system and those who are fully vaccinated should be free to travel.

“Some of the anglers have been coming here for the last 30 to 40 years and they are very keen to return here again. They are constantly enquiring about the competitions and will they go ahead,” outlined the businessman of the appetite of British anglers to get back on Cavan lakes.

The annual June competition has been shelved but hopes are still alive for the September event.