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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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Flesk Fest promises to be a great evening of fun

By Michelle Crean Glenflesk GAA are planning a fun filled evening of top class entertainment. The Flesk Fest takes place on Saturday July 16 at 4pm in The Kerryway Steakhouse […]




By Michelle Crean

Glenflesk GAA are planning a fun filled evening of top class entertainment.

The Flesk Fest takes place on Saturday July 16 at 4pm in The Kerryway Steakhouse & Bar.

Two exciting bands ‘All Folk’d Up’ and ‘Super Ceili’ will be playing and there’ll be plenty of fun and games and a delicious barbecue, raffle with some great prizes, and of course the ever popular Hang Tough Challenge!

“Please come out and support this great event! Tell your friends and we will make it a night to remember,” Seamus Healy from Glenflesk GAA said.

” Admission is only €15, and tickets are available from Mary McCarrick 087 7750773, Padraig O’Sullivan 087 0530384 or any club officer. They are also available in the Kerryway on the night.

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Rising cycling star selected for Belgium Project

By Sean Moriarty Killarney cyclist Sam Bolger (18) has been selected as one of four riders for the Belgian Project – one of the most prestigious stepping stones for Irish riders […]




By Sean Moriarty

Killarney cyclist Sam Bolger (18) has been selected as one of four riders for the Belgian Project – one of the most prestigious stepping stones for Irish riders with ambitions to turn professional.

Northern Ireland-based Belgian Danny Blondell is the man behind the project.

For the last 15 years Blondell selects between four and six Irish riders and sends them to Belgium where they stay with local families and contest pro and semi-pro races.

As a race commentator Blondell is well placed to decide who is deserving of inclusion in the project.

Over the first six months of the year he makes decisions while attending early season races.

Those lucky enough to get selected go to live and race in Belgium for the second six months of the year.

Bolger, from Lewis Road, was selected after winning the junior race in the Cycling Ireland National Road Series in Mayo in March and the Orwell Stage Race in County Wicklow in June.

“He is delighted, it is a very big deal,” his father Paul told the Killarney Advertiser.

“He has had a very good year and the wins in Mayo and Wicklow secured the Belgium Project.”

Bolger will head to Belgium in late July and after to the Junior Tour of Ireland which takes place in County Clare between July 12 and 17.

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