Major refurb for former hotel

A FORMER hotel in Lifford which has lain derelict for several years is being given a major facelift.

Work is underway to revive the old Gateway Hotel on the town’s Bridge Street which in its pomp welcomed visitors from all over the world. 

Following a decline in trade shortly after the millennium though the building stopped operating as a hotel and was reduced to a bar. It too closed and an application was made to turn the upper floors from hotel rooms into apartments.

The former bar was transformed into retail units and in more recent years the once popular venue operated as a hairdressers.

Last August the Gateway was sent to auction where an unidentified buyer snapped it up for €150,000. They have now begun a major refurbishment operation to bring the old building back into use.

It is not clear what the new owner intends to do with the property but Sinn Féin councillor for the Lifford and Stranorlar Municipal District, Gary Doherty, said that any effort to reopen a derelict building in a town that has suffered serious economic decline has to be positive.

“I think any development in Lifford has to be welcomed because of the number of abandoned and derelict buildings in the town is something we as elected representatives have been highlighting for years,” said Cllr Doherty.

“There are a number of areas in our Municipal District in the same boat, one of them being Stranorlar which was previously listed as the town with the most commercial vacancies in Ireland.  So any development that will improve the streetscape has to be welcomed.”



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