Staff puzzled over the closure of Pavilion Café

STAFF who worked at the Pavilion Café in Longmeadows Pitch and Putt, Ballyfermot, are unclear why the facility closed on May 14.Longmeadows pitch and putt 3
The café was run as a non-profit business, and staffed by workers involved in community employment schemes through the Department of Social Protection.
Pavilion chef Justin Melia, said staff are devastated, and there was “no solid reason” for the closure.

Mr Melia said: “I got a call from the chairperson on May 14 informing me the committee decided the café is closed. I informed him we had commitments for outside catering, he said ‘cancel them’.
“For people so concerned about profit, this was not the way to go. We had food in fridges and freezers that could have been sold. The committee were unhappy with the profit margin. Being a non-profit organisation, this was confusing. Profits were steadily rising.”
Committee member Declan McCormack said the committee plan to meet with the Department of Social Protection, and are not in a position to comment on the matter further.
Mr Melia worked on CE schemes at the club before being employed to run the café.
“They wouldn’t increase my hours from 30 to 39 and refused a pay rise,” he said.
“I was earning less per hour than the CE staff I was training, as well as cooking, cleaning, management, but the café had a great ambience due to regular customers.”
A Department spokesperson told The Echo that Longmeadows Pitch and Putt Company Ltd is a CE scheme, funded through an annual contract by the Department of Social Protection. 
“The CE scheme is approved for 21 participants and one supervisor, with participants undertaking a number of roles such as caretaker, cleaner, course assistants, admin staff, cooks, deli/shop assistants,” said the spokesperson.
“The Department was advised in mid-May by the company of the decision to close the café. They further advised that the facility would continue to be used for tea/coffee and snacks, and that the participants were still required. The Department continues to liaise with the company on this matter.”

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