AN EYE-watering €600,000 in pre-paid credit cards, which was gifted to the wives and girlfriends (WAGs) of golfers participating in this week’s JP McManus Charity Pro-Am in Adare, was welcomed warmly by local businesses.
The streets of the village may not be paved with gold, but in Adare, they’re not far off filling up any potholes with silver on the back of the generosity of billionaire JP McManus, who hosted the charity pro-am at his luxury Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort.
Kay Mulcaire, owner of Isobel Boutique on the Main Street said the golf wags all splurged after Mr McManus gifted each of them a €10,000 pre-paid credit card to be spent in the village.
“From last Wednesday the wives started coming into the shop. They couldn’t believe it, they were saying they have never received anything like this, they thought it was over generous,” said Ms Mulcaire.
The pre-paid credit cards are only redeemable in stores in the village, making sure the local economy receives a boost from the Manor and not the reverse, explained Mulcaire, who hopes to soon double her workforce from six to 12.
“It’s to give back to the local economy, to spend in Adare, it’s Lotto for us, a great idea and (JP) just keeps giving back and back, he believes it’s not just about Adare Manor.
“All the wives and girlfriends are coming in but they are not looking for VIP treatment, they’re really normal,” added Ms Mulcaire, who also operates a MARCCAIN franchise store in the village and plans to expand with a third premises she recently purchased.
Aisling Maher, who runs her own boutique in the village, agreed McManus’ card initiative has been a “massive boost” to her profits: “All the boutiques are involved in it in the village, it has been a really good incentive to give all the golf wives and girlfriends to encourage them leave the Manor, see the village, and to give all of us a boost as well, as the village has been closed off to normal trade.”
Located a stone’s throw from the Manor, the Dunraven Arms Hotel, which has previously hosted members of the British royal family, is also cashing in.
Manager Hugh Murphy said: “It’s the profile it gives the village and it’s the media coverage, it’s been shown on Sky Sports and on Golf Pass, Virgin, so it is being shown in the US and it looks incredible on television, so it is not just the two-days, it is the long-term effect.”
There will be more gold mined in Adare when the Manor’s 18-hole championship course hosts the Ryder Cup in 2027 offering up an estimated €200million for the local economy.