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23/07/2021

After five years still no work on iconic Midlands hotel destroyed by fire

After five years still no work on iconic midlands hotel

Shannon Oaks Hotel, Portumna, burning in September 2011. The fire might have started because of a chip pan in the kitchen.

After five years of being under the ownership of the incredibly wealthy Comer Brothers, work has still not begun on Shannon Oaks Hotel in Portumna, and it remains an empty, derelict shell.

The landmark hotel has been in a ruinous state since it was destroyed by an accidental fire in September 2011.
There has been a hotel on the site since 1971 when the Westpark Hotel was built.

During the 1970s and 1980s the hotel had a great reputation for its dinner dances, with many people coming from near and far to the premises for evenings of fun which are fondly remembered.

In 1995 John Pardy bought the building and built a completely new premises which he called Shannon Oaks Hotel and which opened in 1996. During the Celtic Tiger years Shannon Oaks did a roaring trade in weddings, and most weeks it would host at least one wedding.

Locals have great affection for the hotel and since the fire of 2011 it's often been the subject of local conversations.
Over the last decade there have been times when it seemed building work would begin, but each time locals' hopes would be dashed.

Because of Covid, Shannon Oaks hasn't featured as much in people's thoughts and conversations, but as we emerge from the pandemic that is bound to change. The black hoarding remains around the premises. Beside the hotel are a number of attractive apartments which are occupied by tenants, on a long-term and short-term basis. On their website the Comer Brothers say they plan to restore the hotel “to its former glory. The hotel will offer luxurious accommodation ranging from hotel rooms to self-catering accommodation in on-site lodges. The hotel will have extensive wedding and conference facilities and boast a traditional Irish bar and a choice of two restaurants. Other hotel amenities include leisure facilities, as well as beauty and wellness centres.”

In March 2018 Luke Comer told press that he intended to restore the hotel to its former glory. "We have purchased the property," he said, "and we want to turn it into a new state of the art hotel in Portumna, which we feel has loads of potential. We have put the project out to tender and obviously we would prefer to secure a local builder. It is in a prime location and we would hope that the new hotel would be up and running by the end of the summer."
In its heyday Shannon Oaks had 63 bedrooms and an enviable location.

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