Popular Kilkee restaurant Murphy Blacks is to close after fifteen years in business.
On Monday evening, in a statement to The Clare Echo, Cillian Murphy and Mary Redmond confirmed they had made the difficult decision to close the eatery.
Prior to the 2004 opening of Murphy Blacks, Cillian and Mary had run a successful bar for five years and purchased the building next door converting it into a forty two seat restaurant.
“After more than fifteen years in business it has just become too much for us to continue doing what we do to the standard we do it and it is time for us to move on to a new chapter in our lives,” the husband and wife outlined.
They cited the 4.5 percent VAT increase introduced on 1st January 2019 as a pivotal reason in closing the premises. “This has not been an easy decision for us to take but increasing costs across all facets of the business administration has become more and more onerous and the straw that really broke the camels back was the VAT increase from 9 percent to 13.5 percent on 1st January 2019”.
When the increase was put in place, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins declared that it would lead to “a lot of closures in regional and rural Ireland”. The tax was lowered to 9% almost nine years ago to help create jobs during the recession but then brought in an increase during Budget 2019.
Cillian and Mary added, “We would like to thank you for all your support and more importantly your friendship over the past fifteen years. We would also like to take a moment to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful staff that we have had on this journey with us since we opened in 2004”. They confirmed all unused vouchers would be refunded.
From Easter to the end of September, the restaurant was open five to six days a week and then from Thursdays to Saturdays for the remainder of the year. Murphy Blacks had built up a very strong trade and was twice listed in The Sunday Times McKenna’s Guides of the top 100 restaurants in Ireland.