Tipp hurling star Lar Corbett and international boxer Matthew Macklin are being linked to a purchase of Hayes Hotel in Thurles - the birthplace of the GAA - alongside local businessman Kevin Coppinger.
The hotel,in receivership since April remains open and there have been many calls for the premises to be saved with the GAA being touted as a possible option.
However, it has emerged this week that 2010 Hurler of the Year Lar Corbett and Mr Macklin are two members of a three-man team, along with Kevin Coppinger,who are investigating a possible purchase. Corbett launched his business in April 2011 - Lar Corbett’s bar at Coppinger’s bar - and the pair also run Italian restaurant Puccini’s at the site of the former iconic Park Avenue House Hotel in Thurles - another great GAA stand. Both men have been lauded locally for their initiative and for giving much needed local employment. However, purchasing Hayes Hotel would be a step in a different direction for the pair and with Mr Macklin also set to come on board, the deal could become a reality soon.
Matthew Macklin’s mother hails from Ballycahill and Kevin Coppinger and Lar Corbett have both travelled to New York to watch Macklin in action -last December, they were present in Atlantic City when Macklin beat American Lamar Russ in a middleweight bout. A regular summer visitor to Ireland as a child and into his teens, Mr Macklin played hurling with Ballingarry before dedicating himself to big-time boxing.
Kevin Coppinger confirmed to The Tipperary Star that they have viewed Hayes Hotel and are considering tabling a firm offer. However, we understand that massive investment would be required to bring the hotel up to standard.
“We are definitely interested and we have viewed the premises. We are both locals and Matthew has links here, so it would be great if it comes off, but there is a long way to go yet,” he confirmed to us.