Using the Cong River as a dividing line, Ashford Castle sits in Galway while the rest of its grounds, tea rooms and nearby hotel, the Lodge at Ashford Castle, sit on the Mayo side of the river, according to the Western People.
Current Covid-19 restrictions in place around the country mean that people are asked to not travel outside their own county boundary for non-essential reasons.
Due to the restrictions, the five-star castle can only offer rooms to residents from Galway, despite its postal address being in Cong, Co Mayo.
General manager at the hotel Niall Rochford said that with the castle located on the Galway side of the border, guests coming from Mayo would be asked to stay at The Lodge.
I am delighted to advise that the Ashford Estate will remain open adhering to level 3 restrictions! This means that @ashfordcastle looks forward to welcome guests from Galway ( yes the Castle is in Galway) and @TheLodgeAshford looks forward to welcoming guests from Mayo!! pic.twitter.com/qNZSmvtUNmAdvertisement
— Niall Rochford (@RochfordNiall) October 6, 2020
Mr Rochford said he faced some unhappy guests after the news of the division emerged: “After I posted on Twitter, there were a lot of cross people in Mayo.
“There are people who have always had a really strong connection with Ashford and that emotional bond was evident. But we have always paid our rates to Galway County Council for the castle and we pay our rates on the Lodge to Mayo County Council.”
The hotel faced a further dilemma when it emerged guests coming from Galway, Tuam or Oranmore would have to drive through Mayo to get to Ashford.
Mr Rochford confirmed that guests would not be able to leave their cars when in Mayo: “People from Galway will be able to come to stay in the castle, but they won’t be able to get out of their cars when they are driving through Mayo.”