After five years under the ownership of the incredibly wealthy Comer brothers, work has still not started on the Shannon Oaks Hotel in Portumna, and an empty and abandoned shell remains.
The iconic hotel has been in a state of disrepair since it was destroyed by an accidental fire in September 2011.
There has been a hotel on the site since 1971 when the Westpark Hotel was built.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the hotel had a great reputation for its dinner dances, with many people coming from near and far for fun evenings that are fondly remembered.
In 1995 John Pardy bought the building and built a brand new location which he called Shannon Oaks Hotel which opened in 1996. During the Celtic Tiger years, Shannon Oaks had a roaring business of weddings, and most weeks he hosted at least one wedding.
Locals have great affection for the hotel and since the 2011 fire it has been the subject of frequent local conversations.
Over the past decade, there have been times when it looked like construction was going to begin, but each time, the hopes of the locals were dashed.
Because of Covid, Shannon Oaks has not figured so much in people’s thoughts and conversations, but as we emerge from the pandemic that is bound to change. The black fence remains around the premises. Next to the hotel are a number of attractive apartments which are occupied by tenants, long term and short term. On their website, the Comer brothers announce their intention to restore the hotel “to its former glory. The hotel will offer luxurious accommodation ranging from hotel rooms to self-catering accommodation in on-site lodges. The hotel will have extensive wedding and conference facilities and will include a traditional Irish bar and a choice of two restaurants. Other hotel facilities include leisure facilities, as well as beauty and wellness centers.
In March 2018, Luke Comer told reporters he intended to restore the hotel to its former glory. “We bought the property,” he said, “and we want to make it a new, state-of-the-art hotel in Portumna, which we believe has a lot of potential. ‘offers and obviously we would prefer to find a local builder. It has a prime location and we hope the new hotel will be up and running by the end of the summer.
At its peak, Shannon Oaks had 63 rooms and an enviable location.