Ireland’s leading B&B organisations are to come together to form a new joint body, which will represent 60% of approved Bed and Breakfast properties in the State.  The Town and Country Homes Association (TCH) and Irish Farmhouse Holidays (IFH) have concluded negotiations on the partnership and the decision is expected to be ratified at meetings of both national bodies shortly.  

The new organisation will be known as Irish Town, Farm & Country Homes (TF&CH) and will be administered from the existing T&CH head office in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.  It will bring 1,000 TCH members and over 200 IFH members together under one umbrella representing the town, farm and country elements of the B&B product.

In a joint statement, TCH chairperson Kate Burns and IFH chairperson Bernadette Freyne said the merger agreement is “based on mutual recognition, trust in a new shared future and respect for the knowledge and experience of the two founding organisations, and the product and brand they represent.”

“TF&CH will represent the B&B product with the necessary political will power to pull the sector through these difficult times. It has the backing of Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and our Trade partners together with the necessary expertise at Board level to ensure the survival and further development of this vitally important sector of Irish tourism.”

The merger is expected to strengthen the sector’s lobbying powers in their joint demands for compulsory registration and grading systems for Bed and Breakfasts here.  The two organisations have already worked together on a report calling for action in this regard and they have also co-operated in joint marketing and promotional activities, such as the Irish Bed and Breakfast Guide and the development of “themed” and packaged breaks in B&Bs.