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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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Jessie Buckley to perform live on RTE this Friday 22nd September



This Culture Night, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh will present an hour-long live music and arts programme from Dún Lúiche in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht at 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.  

Actress and singer Jessie Buckley has been added to the list of stellar musicians who will perform with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on the night. Jessie will perform a special rendition of a Sinéad O’Connor song in tribute to the late artist. 

Jessie commented: “I am very honoured to return to Culture Night 2023 to remember Sinéad O Connor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Sinéad was such a huge influence on so many women in Ireland and across the world, her courage, her mind, her politics and her intense beauty and soul. She was a warrior to humanity. I remember hearing her for the first time and feeling her uncompromising need to connect and affect. Recognising what couldn’t be said and speaking it out loud. I am so grateful for all her fire and all her love. It is such a privilege to return to Ireland for RTÉ Culture Night in Donegal to sing a song of gratitude for Sinéad and her family and friends.” 

Other artists performing with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra include The Murder Capital, R&B singer and 2FM Rising star Aby Coulibaly and Irish-based Ukrainian musician Olesya Zdorovetska.  

Friday 22nd September, 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player 

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N22 Killarney to Faranfore road further delayed

The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again. Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project […]




The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again.

Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project were identified and were put out to public consultation in May 2021. These have now been whittled down to just one.

It was previously promised that the preferred route would be published late last year.

This dragged on in to the Spring and there is still no sigh of the preferred route being revealed.

A recent Kerry County Council meeting a council official explained that there are further funding requirements to allow the council complete various reports and investigations required before the road can move to its next phase.

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