“I’ve Just Hit a Wall” -Why Popular Midleton Eatery is Closing

By Seamus Whelehan

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An iconic Midleton Bistro is to close its doors permanently next month, after almost a decade in business.
Siobhan’s on the Mall, which has been a staple for many East Cork people since 2013, will pull the shutters closed for one last time on Saturday 14 September.
Chef and owner Siobhain Darcy, who has been working in the catering industry since 1986, said she is very grateful to the community for their patronage and support.
“I’ve just hit a wall. I’m physically working 6 days a week for the past five and half years with no family time, and no holidays. It takes its toll, cheffing on your own” said Ms Darcy.
The Shannon Bridge native said she will take a while off before deciding her next chapter in life.
The popular Café owner describes her staff and customers as “just like family. We know what everyone wants and how they like it.”
The Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) say situations like Siobhan’s on the Mall is not uncommon, warning that some businesses are facing shorter weeks or even closure due to a shortage of chefs.
According to the Association 5,000 extra chefs are currently required to fill vacancies.
Chief Executive of RAI has said ‘some restaurants across the country are being forced to close on Mondays and Tuesdays due to the shortage of chefs.’
He said ‘other large industries in Ireland, such as Agriculture and Fishing, have dedicated Training Centres around the country. The Hospitality and Tourism industry is one of our most valuable assets, and it’s ludicrous that there are no Training Colleges for our industry in this country.’
The RAI have called on the Minister for Education, Joe McHugh, to invest in training programmes to fill the gap.
Since 2017 the Association have been in partnership with International Chef Training Colleges in an effort to attract qualified chefs to Ireland.

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