Journal Volume 7 2013

Opening of the Grand Hotel, Greystones (continued/1)


The Chairman, in replying, said he felt deeply sensible of the kind manner in which the toast had been received. On that day Greystones came into friendly rivalry with Bray (applause). The guests who had gathered there on that occasion had helped to forge a second link in the new hotel movement. Three weeks ago he addressed them on the occasion of the opening of the hotel at Glendalough; now Greystones held out the hand of fellowship, and sent a cordial welcome to tourists and others to the Grand Hotel (applause). The new movement was one of vital importance to Ireland. If Ireland did not get so large a share of American dollars as she ought to get, it was not for want of scenery. Many Irishmen were able to say they had seen Switzerland, Norway, and the Continent generally, and they made it a sort of boast that they had never visited Killarney (“mere shame”). In conclusion, he thanked them all for attending the opening of the Grand Hotel, and he believed it would be the starting point from which Greystones might trace its future prosperity (applause).

Mr R Gow proposed the toast of “The Irish Railways.” It gave the directors of the hotel great pleasure to see the railway companies of PowerscourtIreland so well represented among the guests. He hoped this fact augured well for the new hotel movement and the new tourist movement in Ireland. If the railway companies and the hotel proprietors worked well together, there was no mistake about it, that the best results would follow, for there was as much for the tourist to see in Ireland as in Norway, Switzerland, or any other land under the sun. Since they had begun the building of that hotel in Greystones, they had received from the Dublin, Wicklow, and Wexford Railway Company the best support they could have expected. Both the chairman and other directors had done everything in their power to assist them. If all Irish hotels and railway companies worked together like this, Ireland would be all right bye and bye (laughter and applause). He would ask them to drink the toast of “The Irish Railways” …

The toast was duly honoured …

Lord Powerscourt next proposed the health of Mr Fox, the chairman [of the Grand Hotel Company], and Mrs Richardson, the manageress.

The toast was drunk with enthusiasm.

Mrs Richardson returned thanks in a capital little speech, in the course of which she said that she had seen nearly all the big hotels in Europe, and that the Grand Hotel was one of the prettiest. She promised to use her utmost endeavour to make every visitor feel that he is in a home from home (applause) …

The company separated after the singing of “Auld Lang Syne,” the guests from Dublin and other places north of Greystones getting home by a special train at half-past 11.


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