Hurling great Terence McNaughton finally gets to lay out the welcome mat

Business owner Terence McNaughton with Ulster Bank business development manager Conor McNeill

ANTRIM hurling great Terence McNaughton has finally got to take his business to the next level - by finally welcoming guests to his new luxury tourist accommodation in the heart of the Glens.

The publican behind the popular Lurig Inn in Cushendall had planned to open McNaughton Guestrooms in March, following a six-figure Ulster Bank-backed investment in fitting out the new accommodation.

But on the eve of opening, the lockdown meant the doors were kept locked and he couldn't even take bookings.

But now Terence, who secured eight Antrim club titles and six Ulster county medals as well as a GAA All-Star in 1991, is preparing to welcome guests for the first time at a facility which features six en-suite rooms (four doubles, one triple and a family room).

“We invested in tourist accommodation to enhance our offer and supplement the pub business, but little did we know how both sides of the business would experience such a shock just as we were about to open,” he said.

“We ventured into new territory with McNaughton Guestrooms during an incredibly challenging time for business owners.

“The support Ulster Bank has given us throughout this period has been essential to the future of our business and has enabled us to prepare for our reopening.”

Terence, who retired from the inter-county scene in 1997, says the closure of a local hotel was a significant loss for the town, but an opportunity for his latest venture.

“We had many customers in the bar asking for recommendations for accommodation. There was a clear local need and we had the capacity to fill that void.

“The Lurig Inn had a large function room on the second floor as well as the capacity to host functions in the ground floor lounge too. We felt we could better utilise the available space and generate additional income.”

Ulster Bank business development manager Conor McNeill says: “In the coming weeks and months we expect to see heightened demand for domestic getaways and staycations, a trend Terence is well positioned to benefit from.

“There is so much to see and do for tourists in the Glens of Antrim, and Terence has developed top-class accommodation to match the expectations set by the area’s exceptional natural beauty and attractions.”

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