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Loyal and diligent Joe voted Employee of the Year




Diligence, a hardworking attitude, reliability and honesty over a 47-year career culminated in Joe Moriarty receiving a major accolade this week.

FINALIST: John Thompson Hannigan's Bar and Restaurant at the International Hotel and selected as a finalist for the Irish Hotel's Federation Kerry Branch Employee of the Year Awards 2022 pictured with his colleagues Barbara Starzak Ann Mangan Dara McCarthy John Thompson Mark Kerrins and General Manager Catriona White. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

FINALIST: Noreen McGillicuddy (Senior Front of House at Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa) finalist at the Irish Hotel's Federation Employee of the Year Awards at the Ballygarry Hotel on Wednesday. Pictured l-r were: Patsy O'Brien Celeste Geary Linda Kennedy Noreen McGillicuddy General Manager Ewan Plenderleith Siobhan O'Shea and Maura Moriarty. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

FINALIST: Darren Looney Duty Manager at the Cahernane Hotel and finalist at the IHF Kerry Branch Employee of the Year Awards pictured with Emer Corridon (General Manager) and David O'Brien (Deputy General Manager) before setting off to the Ballygarry House Hotel for the awards ceremony. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

With 47 years hotel experience under his belt, beginning as a waiter in the Dromhall and Randles hotels, Joe was honoured to receive this year’s Irish Hotel Federation’s Kerry Employee of the Year at the Ballygarry Hotel on Wednesday.

“The Dromhall and Randles Hotel are proud to nominate long time employee and all-rounder Joe Moriarty for this year’s IHF Employee of the Year,” Bernadette Randles, Chairperson of the Kerry branch of the IHF and Vice President of the IHF National Council, said.

“Joe has been with the hotels for over 47 years and his enthusiasm and pride in the hospitality industry is still quite evident today.”

Loyal, diligent, hardworking, reliable, honest as well as being a mentor and a team player with a positive outlook are just some of the many qualities Joe possesses. Joe kickstarted his employment with Dromhall under Kay and Neil Randles in 1974 when he commenced working part-time for the up-and-coming wedding venue. His talent and excellence were soon evident and the Randles family offered Joe a full-time position working on the weddings in 1976. Back then, when the hotel closed for the winter months, Joe would travel to various other parts of the country working in hotels always looking to develop his hospitality skills further. Joe also furthered his education in hospitality when he attended the Shannon catering school and learned to carry out the much-coveted silver service.

Joe became Abbey Restaurant Manager between 1995 and 2002, meticulously overseeing the running of the restaurant and managing up to four weddings every week at the Dromhall.

“Joe has put many a young waiter and waitress through their paces, while at the same time showing them patience and kindness as they learned the skills and work. Always with an encouraging word and listening ear, you will always be left smiling after an encounter or a chat with Joe.”

Fond Memories

Joe loves the buzz of the hospitality industry and has many fond memories of the lifelong friends and colleagues he has met over the course of this employment in Dromhall and Randles, especially remembering fondly his good friend and chef Tony Lawlor.

In 1988 he was part of a group that travelled to the Caymen Islands, waitering for the IHF banquets from November to May, a group which included Bernadette Randles. Joe recalls how he and Bernadette would play pool before dinner in the evenings and confirms Bernadette is a real pool shark!

Joe remembers it was Neily Randles many years earlier that first showed him how to paint and how to hang wallpaper, skills that have become invaluable to Joe especially when in 2002, again during the winter months, when things quietened for the hotels, Joe started in the maintenance department, and the painting and decorating hasn’t stopped since. He is also one of the few employees of the hotel to have worked all through lockdown.

Joe has the greatest of admiration for Mrs Kay Randles and says that she would cook the breakfast for all the guests and then ensure that staff all had a good breakfast before they finished their shifts. Joe is never one for the lime light, working diligently and efficiently to get the job done without fuss, and it took a call from Mrs Randles for Joe to agree to put his name forward for the Employee of the Year award.

However, the greatest gift Dromhall gave Joe was the chance of meeting his partner in 1990, when she was a waitress also working in the hotel and they have been together ever since. A real Dromhall love story!

Joe is also a keen GAA man, travelling all over the country to support the Kerry team and attending many matches of his beloved Legion.

“All in the Dromhall are delighted to nominate Joe and he is always a winner in our eyes!”



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


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Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

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