26 Sept 2022

UPDATED: 'It's sad, I've met a lot of nice people,' says woman behind Kiddies Kingdom

Bagenalstown business will close its doors for the last time on March 31

Carlow Carlow Carlow

This is sad news

Kiddies Kingdom in Bagenalstown is to close its doors over rising insurance costs from "exaggerated and fraudulent claims".

The local business will close its doors for the last time Sunday, March 31 after 15 years resulting in the loss of ten part-time jobs. 

Speaking to Carlow Live, Josie Daly - who will run in this year's Local Election for Fianna Fáil - said: "I'm moving on and running in the Local Elections for the first time. 

"It's sad, I've met a lot of nice people and a lot of good staff came through the doors.

"The insurance started creeping up two years ago and this year it was out of reach (when it climbed to €47,000). 

"Commercial rates are killing businesses as well. Something is going to have to be done. We're the second highest in the country, Carlow is, for commercial rates. 

"They're doing valuations from an office so opening hours and turnover doesn't come into the equation. They decide on your rates on what you can get from renting your unit. I'm definitely not going to be the last business to close."

On rising insurance, Josie added: "Insurance companies are awarding willy-nilly because they're afraid to go to court because judges are awarding high compensations for insurance claims. 

"It's not sustainable. The existing Government can't see beyond Dublin. They don't know what it's like to run a business in a rural environment and our overheads. 

"I'm not going to move mountains but I will have my voice heard if I can become a councillor. People who take fraudulent claims aren't penalised. Self-employed businesses have no protection. 

"I've ten part-time staff in Kiddies Kingdom and they'll have to go and find work now, some are students, some are parents and I had to tell them we can't stay going. That's the impact."  

In a statement on Thursday, Josie said: "Kiddies Kingdom will close its doors for the last time Sunday, March 31.

"We have been here 15 years and met some wonderful people in that time. I would like to thank each and everyone of you for your support over the years.

"We would not have existed without you but unfortunately insurance has stopped it as it would have cost €47,000 to reinsure this year due to exaggerated claims and fraudulent claims.

"Kiddies Kingdom has employed local staff for the 15 years, college students and school going.

"It was my pleasure to work with them over the years many of them telling me what to do. Some have gone on to have great futures.

"I wish the existing staff the same. They showed nothing only courtesy to customers and helped them in every way possible they all have bright futures ahead of them.

"Some would have played in Kiddies Kingdom as children, how years have flown by. Again thank you so much for your support.

"We are here this weekend and next if ye fancy one last visit to Kiddies Kingdom."

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