*Maire Ní Mhurchu. Photograph: Eamon Ward. 

361 self-catering homes in Clare are under threat over a new short-term letting tourist bill.

An Taoiseach, Simon Harris (FG) has received a letter from a coalition of tourism industry chiefs including the Irish Self-Catering Federation, the Vintners Federation of Ireland, the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation, and Ireland’s Association of Adventure Tourism.

They have urged the Taoiseach to work with them to “stop unintended and serious harm being inflicted on Ireland’s rural tourism economy”.

Their letter was delivered prior to Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting where among the items on the agenda was the new General Scheme for the Registration of Short-Term Tourist Letting Bill which provides for the registration of self-catering homes and short-term holiday lettings across the country.

Tourism leaders welcome the register, but warn that it is being introduced “without clearly stating who can and cannot be on it” which “risks causing untold damage to rural Ireland by closing down self-catering homes and short-term holiday lets in rural communities and tourism towns across the country”.

This register the Government has estimated will move 10,700 self-catering and short term holiday letting properties to the long term rental market, with the majority in rural Ireland. Counties along the Wild Atlantic Way will be most impacted by the loss of tourism accommodation.

Figures from Fáilte Ireland show that 361 self-catering homes in Clare are under threat as a result while Kerry will lose 1,858 short-term tourism accommodation units, Galway 1,459 and Cork 1,313. In total, counties along the Wild Atlantic Way will lose over 6,500 properties, more than 60% of the total targeted by Government.

Maire Ní Mhurchu, CEO of the Irish Self Catering Federation said, “Members throughout regional Ireland are worried that they will be unable to secure a place on the new register and therefore will be prevented from trading after years in business”.

Self-catering properties and short-term holiday lets have played a crucial part of Ireland’s tourism offering for decades.

Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO of ITIC, stated, “It is vital that holiday homes and short-term tourism rentals are protected in regional Ireland. They form a key part of the industry and bring economic activity to all parts of the Wild Atlantic Way, often where there are no hotels or guesthouses”.

Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland commented, “If tourism towns are going to lose their short term rentals and holiday homes then this will have a big knock-on impact on downstream businesses from cafes to restaurants, pubs to attractions”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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