That’s the Caiseal Mara now sold – although the buyer is not yet known. It joins the Town Clock (now Big Ben’s) which was bought by Benny and Diane and is now open and thriving.

So, will the Foyle Hotel sell as well now?

The answer to that it ‘Unlikely’. The reason is that it was the banks that closed down and own the Caiseal Mara and the Town Clock. It is The Revenue who closed down the Foyle – and it can’t be opened again until someone pays not only the tax but the penalties as well.

Ireland Unique

Ireland is unique in that the tax penalties are attached to the premises and not a person or company. In most countries, if a company which owned a premises went bust then the debts and liabilities go with it. That includes the tax liabilities. The taxman is just like any other creditor.

Not in Ireland!

Other countries do it that way so that businesses which are perfectly good but are dragged down by their debts, can rise again from the ashes debt free. It is called Administration. If a business can’t be saved it goes into liquidation and any assets are divided up between the creditors including the taxman.

However, in Ireland the taxman is put at the head of the list of creditors and the tax debt doesn’t disappear with the business.

Kept Shut

This is keeping lots of perfectly good businesses shut across Ireland. This is hitting Moville and other towns badly. When I first started the BeatlesFest and DylanFest in 2007 there were two hotels with 64 rooms in the town. Now there are none and none. the Festivals did well this year despite that but if we had the hotels open again the festivals would be bigger that they are and attract more people.

It’s such a shame but it doesn’t look like the Foyle will be sold any time soon. It had been up for sale at Paul O’Keefe’s auctioneers in Derry. However, it has now been taken down – and a 16-bedroomed hotel, with Function Room, Bar and Restaurant remain shut in the very heart of Moville.

Emigrating

If it was opened again it might employ 10 to 20 people. Instead our youngsters are emigrating to all corners of the earth to get work.

And all because of a tax law that other countries don’t have and which is counterproductive if no one can pay the tax liabilities anyway.

The Revenue and the country would get plenty of tax from the hotel and those that work there if it could be opened again. However, the laws don’t permit it.