By Louise Walsh
A Co Louth hotel owner who refused diners with an eircode in lockdown Dublin last week says he was taken aback at being slated for trying to adhere to Government regulations against the spread of Covid-19.
Terry McKevitt of McKevitts Village Hotel in Carlingford has described the review on Trip Advisor which calls the hotel a “den of ignorance” as “unfair”.
The review which advises customers to “avoid this place” states: “My parents went in here for lunch and a young lady member of staff promptly approached them and demanded their eircode.
“As our eircode starts with a D, she promptly interrupted, declaring that they will not be serving anyone from Dublin.
“Understandably it was very humiliating for my parents to be denied service in front of all those people.
“This den of ignorance should not be frequented by any right minded individuals.
“My parents moved their custom where the staff were polite and happy to receive customers. I’ll make certain when the current crisis is over that not a solitary individual known to myself will be darkening the door of this establishment as long as it stands.”
Terry McKevitt says the review has since been removed.
Owner Terry McKevitt in a reply said: “We accept all feedback whether it be positive or negative. However we feel like this type of review is very unfair.
“Since our reopening on June 29th we have taken every precaution to ensure the safety of our customers and staff.
“We have completed all Covid-19 safety charter criteria. As a result we have passed Fáilte Ireland inspection and are proud to be registered as Covid-19 compliant premises.
“Part of these changes has been to abide by all government guidelines in relation to Covid-19.
We do not apologise for protecting our customers both old and new in these trying times
“We made the decision as a business to not accept guests from any county affected by government restrictions as a protective measure for all.
“We do not apologise for protecting our customers both old and new in these trying times and certainly do not apologise for making every attempt to ensure the safety of our hardworking staff.
“We encourage all potential customers to listen to government guidelines and recommendations and we will continue to provide a safe environment for all permitted customers.”
Mr McKevitt, who is the latest of five generations to run the family business, added that the incident occurred last Wednesday and he was made aware of the review on Sunday.
“We are open to criticism but this was unfair and a real slap in the face in our own efforts to try and protect staff and clients and try and curb the spread of Covid-19.
“Government restrictions moved Dublin into Level Three category which advises residents to stay in that county unless essential.
“I can’t believe we have been slated for trying to do the right thing and abide by these restrictions.
“We always ask customers for their addresses for contact tracing purposes and that’s why the Dublin eircode came to light.
“As we are so near the border, we are also closely watching restrictions in Northern Ireland and will adhere to these as well in terms of customers from the North.
“We have 26 staff and since reopening, we have tried hard to keep them all in jobs and keep them safe and we will continue to do that,” he concluded.