Company director John Grealish has blamed the economic downturn and rental costs for the closures, adding that since the start of the recession in June ‘08, sales in these businesses had fallen by between 20 and 50 per cent.
The Cellar Bar, Cuba nightclub, Bar 903 and the Harvest off-licence have all closed down.
“I know that this event will be hardest on our employees, our suppliers and our landlords and I sincerely regret that this is happening but the companies concerned have no alternative,” stated John Grealish, “Since the start of the recession in June 2008 the sales in these three businesses have fallen by between 20 and 50 per cent. In the last two-and-a-half years we have tried to manage the effects of the downturn by reducing costs. This involved redundancies, pay reductions, severe reductions in hours worked and huge reductions in all other costs. I sincerely thank all of our employees for the sacrifices they have made over this period and equally regret that their sacrifices were insufficient to save the businesses.”
In order for the businesses to have survived, agreement with the landlords would have been required on rent reductions.
“In some instances this was forthcoming and sustained, however in most cases the Jona Group companies were unable to agree rental levels with landlords which would enable us to continue. Ultimately other cost reductions were not sufficient to enable each business to continue to trade, resulting in the difficult decision to go into voluntary liquidation,” he commented.
The remaining businesses in the Jona Group – SuperValu and Centra in Moycullen and Centra in Ballybrit – remain unaffected.