A cash injection of €15m is to be invested into west Donegal which includes the purchase of Óstán Ghaoth Dobhair and the Seaview hotel.
The announcement was made this afternoon by local TD Pearse Doherty.
He said the news that Bunbeg Revitalisation Limited, part of Vesada Private was going to make such a massive investment in the area would boost tourism, create up to 80 local jobs and also provide recreational amenities for tourists and for those living in the area.
He said that today, Monday, marked a great day for Gaoth Dobhair and the region: “This is a great day for Gaoth Dobhair and for west Donegal. This is exactly the type of investment that was needed in the area and I was honoured to be asked by Bunbeg Revitalisation Limited to announce this investment today.
“The investment of €15 million will see the development of a 28-bedroom hotel and some luxury self-catering apartments where the former Seaview Hotel is, along with a restaurant and bar.
“Further development of accommodation at the site will also form part of a future phase of the new development. It is expected that the first phase will be open in Autumn 2021.
“In terms of the Ostan Ghaoth Dobhair, a leisure and activity complex will be developed with a full leisure centre and other recreational amenities for tourists and locals to enjoy.
“Accommodation in the form of own-key luxury self-catering apartments will also be developed, and a restaurant and bar will also be available.
“It is expected that this will open in Autumn 2022.
Factors for investment
He added that the scenic location of the hotels, overlooking the islands and Bád Eddie, was a big factor in the decision to invest.
“For too long, we have seen Donegal be left behind. We know the beauty of the area and we know that we always have a warm welcome for visitors to the area.
“This investment will mean that we can share that beauty and welcome with more people who will come, stay and use these new facilities.”
“This investment will boost tourism and will hopefully allow other local businesses to invest and grow. Bunbeg Revitalisation Limited has also emphasized to me the importance of ensuring that the employment created is available for the local people and that is welcome,” he said.
Des Connolly, of the Vesada Group, who also spoke at that launch said they looked forward to getting this project started.
“We are excited to finally be able to announce this project which has been almost two-years in the making. We would like to sincerely thank the local people of the area who have helped us along the way.
“We look forward to getting started on the work and to providing these facilities for Bunbeg and Gaoth Dobhair.
“We hope that it will give the area a renewed lease of life and that it will attract more visitors by showing all of the magic that west Donegal has to offer,” said Mr Connolly.
The Seaview Hotel which is located in Machaire Chlochair closed its doors to the public in 2015. The hotel was built in 1958 and extended in 1970, 1980 and 1996. Óstán Gaoth Dobhair closed three weeks before the Seaview Hotel in 2015.
The two hotels were run by the Boyle family. The doors of the Óstán have remained closed since receivers acting on behalf of the banks put the 32-bedroom hotel up for auction almost four years ago with a reserve price of €590,000.
One of the most iconic boats in the country lies stranded on the sand across from the óstán. The boat has featured in Vogue magazine and in a video with Bono and Moya Brennan. In the past, sporting legends, such as, George Best and Pat Crerand came regularly to holiday at the óstán. Crerand's mother came from Gaoth Dobhair.
Best once described the area as "the most beautiful place on Earth."
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