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Change of pace for Noreen who served over 20 years in the hotel industry






In 2020, the year of COVID, Killarney celebrated 250 years of tourism. Two years later, the buzz is somewhat back and the summer season has well and truly begun.

I took some time to chat with Noreen McGillicuddy, popular receptionist at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel, who as of last week, now enjoys retirement. Noreen has contributed over 20 years of service to the hotel industry, having worked diligently for the Post & Telegraph (P&T) all over Ireland prior to her career in hospitality, she is possibly the only person I know who has had a sleepover in Deenagh Lodge! Here’s how it went.

“Until the age of 13, I lived in Waterville with my parents with my brothers David (Dáithí) and Sean and my sisters Eileen (RIP) and Sheila (RIP). Sheila worked within the hospitality sector as a hairdresser to guests and locals at the Great Southern Hotel and the Aghadoe Heights to name just two. We lived on New Street for five years before moving to Ardshanavooly and I went to school in the Presentation Convent. I then completed a secretarial course in the Technical College and soon began working with the P&T where my first post was in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, in the late 1970s, where I worked connecting calls on the telephone exchange,” Noreen began.

Having heard on the news only last week how the last telephone box had been dismantled in New York and now the city operates on a WiFi basis, I thought to myself how far we have come in the world of technology in a mere 50 years.

“The P&T took me to many parts of Ireland Marie, including Carrig on Suir, Waterford, Cork and Tralee and covered lots of holiday relief nationwide including the Department of Justice in Killarney on reception and telephones. One of the most interesting parts of the job which entailed huge responsibility and confidentiality was the updating of the telephone records of Ireland."

Another change that sprung to mind, the Golden Pages and Residential phone directories; a multifunctional item which might well have doubled up as a step or door stop in many homes around Ireland, now nowhere to be seen.

“I enjoyed working in Tralee, it was closer to home and my family," Noreen added.

"I spent 20 years there where the highlight was the annual Rose of Tralee Festival where I took part in many events. As things wound down with Eircom (formerly P&T), I was ready for a new chapter and retrained in the hospitality industry through CERT with Echard Gosh (RIP) and Angie O’Brien (Vendrick’s Restaurant) over in Kenmare specialising in Front Office. These courses were fantastic training and it touched on every aspect of tourism and hotel work, not just the course title. I made many friends and began my career within the hospitality sector with Sheila Casey, Torc Great Southern Hotel just a stone's throw from my front door. It was a busy spot which I thoroughly enjoyed. When the Torc Hotel closed for the season, I wasn’t left idle for long and began at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa. I worked with many great managers. I began under the duo that was Pat and Marie Chawke and 20 years later, I retired from Aghadoe under Ewan Plenderleith. Over those 20 years, I worked closely with the same Front Office Manager, Siobhan O’Shea, for the majority of my time at Aghadoe. The view at Aghadoe gave me a lift daily, so it was easy to extend this wowness of Aghadoe to the guests on arrival. I have been fortunate to have worked with so many great people throughout my career in Aghadoe, many of which I can now call great friends,” Noreen explained.


I asked Noreen about her sleepover at Deenagh Lodge. How unique, I thought, to have actually stayed in a house seeped in local history, a beautiful attraction in the Demesne of Killarney National Park.

“My father, Danny McGillicuddy, was from the beautiful island of Valentia and my mother, Mary Casey, was from Killarney. My grandfather, Con Casey, worked and lived in the estate and in later years became a caretaker of Deenagh Lodge.

I was delighted to hear that Noreen had been recognised by her team at Aghadoe as a nominee at the recent Kerry IHF Awards event and also to hear that together with other long term staff members at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel. Noreen was gifted a beautiful watch and a day out with her colleagues. 20 years is a long time I thought, so to finish our chat I asked Noreen what advice would she have for anyone who is thinking of a career within the hospitality sector.

“No two days are the same Marie. Guest satisfaction is hugely rewarding and there are many opportunities to work your way up to management within the hospitality sector. Killarney is the cream of the crop and the hub of tourism in Ireland.”

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Final delivery as DJ retires

By Michelle Crean There’s hardly a Killarney home he hasn’t been to – but now DJ O’Driscoll has stood down from his duties. Friday night marked delivery driver DJ’s retirement […]




By Michelle Crean

There’s hardly a Killarney home he hasn’t been to – but now DJ O’Driscoll has stood down from his duties.

Friday night marked delivery driver DJ’s retirement from the Killarney branch of Corcoran’s Furniture & Carpets, a position he has held for the last 15 years.

On Friday night, colleagues from all three Corcoran’s Furniture & Carpets stores gathered in the Killarney Height’s Hotel. DJ was also joined by his daughter and her partner for the special night.

“After almost 15 years of steadfast work with Corcoran’s, DJ has been a constant pillar of support for his colleagues and has helped the company go from strength to strength,” owner Kieran Corcoran said.

“Corcoran’s would like to wish DJ the very best of luck for the future and hoping that he enjoys his retirement. Many thanks to Killarney Height’s Hotel for hosting the staff night on Friday. A great night was had by all!”


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Rowers pull together for Order of Malta

Members of Flesk Valley Rowing Club had a strenuous but successful morning on Sunday when they collectively rowed the distance from Malin Head to Mizen Head. And it was all […]




Members of Flesk Valley Rowing Club had a strenuous but successful morning on Sunday when they collectively rowed the distance from Malin Head to Mizen Head.

And it was all done indoors on rowing machines in support of the Killarney Order of Malta.

Just before 11am the Valley armada ‘left shore’, and approximately 40 members aged from 12 to 50ish set to their task with enthusiasm. By midday someone reckoned that Barack Obama’s Plaza had been reached but unfortunately there was no stop for tea, just a splash of holy water, a mouthful of Lucozade and a few jelly babies for the lucky ones!

As the kilometres clicked slowly by the temperature started to rise and the cry went up from the gasping veterans to open all the doors!

No such problems for the junior relay crews who had a fantastic morning rowing, laughing, and racing each other all the way to the finish.

The junior members who took on the half-marathon distance individually were amazing throughout and got stronger as the finish line came into view.

“We’re delighted with how the morning went,” Tadhg Kelly from Flesk Valley said.

“There was a great atmosphere in the venue, and we are grateful to all the parents and Flesk Valley supporters who came along to encourage our young and not-so-young rowers. It was great too to see the members of the Order of Malta in attendance to offer their support, and the club would like to thank everyone who donated on the day.”

Tadhg also expressed his thanks to the underage coaches and committee members for looking after everyone during the event. He especially wanted to mention everyone at Celtic Steps and the Killarney Racecourse for facilitating the club and Workmens Rowing Club and Glenflesk GAA for the use of their equipment.

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