Newtown ice rink to close

The owner of Inishowen’s only ice-skating rink has told the Journal he is being forced to close due to rising insurance and running costs.

Donegal Ice Skating opened in Newtowncunningham in October 2013 and was warmly received.

It has enjoyed success since, with people travelling from across the peninsula to attend the facility, which was created using synthetic ice.

However, this week, owner Andrew Houston announced via the business facebook page that the ice rink will close on February 1st next.

The move means five staff - working both part-time and full-time - will lose their jobs.

Andrew’s adjoining business, Donegal Airsoft, with Crazy Golf and Archery is not closing and will continue to operate as normal.

Speaking to the Journal, Andrew said it was “very, very disappointing” to have to make the decision to close, but he “had no choice.”

He said a small number of insurance claims from members of the public had pushed his premiums up, and this, coupled with running costs meant the business was no longer viable.

He said: “We haven’t had many claims but as soon as you have one, it can take years to be investigated and finalised and your insurance increases in the meantime. This then puts us under more pressure. We have a lot of running costs too.

“It was a hard decision to have to make as those working there are my friends as well. But unfortunately, somebody had to make it and I just wish we didn’t have to.”

Andrew said he and the business had been greatly supported locally since the business opened and this has continued with Donegal Airsoft.

The rink held a number of birthday parties and events and enjoyed “really good feedback.”

Everyone is still welcome to enjoy the rink before it closes on February 1st and it’s business as usual for Donegal Airsoft. Call 074 91 08622, no deposit required.