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Sheila has dedicated her entire life to the hotel industry

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My first encounter with Sheila Casey was a number of years ago when I blew into Killarney in my late teens to be trained in hospitality during the off season at what was the Torc Great Southern Hotel, now the new cinema on Park Road.

Sheila, the eldest of six girls from Ballyhar, held the reigns training 20 or more students in Front Office Management each year. As a CERT training centre it was the norm to delve into all departments to give a true experience of how each department liaised to give great guest satisfaction.

Pauline Lyne of Park View Guesthouse was the CERT coordinator in my time, responsible for checking in 150 students by 10pm of a Sunday and checking out for 2.30pm each Friday.

“At least 150 students from all over Ireland passed through this great facility each year which is a facility I think is hugely lacking in the tourism industry today,” Sheila said.

We both wondered how many students during her term, 1991-2022, are still working in hotels.

Well I knew one! Sheila Casey has worked for her entire life within the hotel industry in Killarney but is probably best known for so many other positions and huge contributions she has made to the community over the years.

“As hotels go, I have always been in the Front Office department - the Great Southern Hotel, The Europe, Torc Great Southern, Gleneagle Hotel Group and I am presently at the Innisfallen Hotel. Killarney is a wonderful place to live and work. There is a huge sense of togetherness and community that is the envy amongst other towns in the country and I think this was proven lately with the arrival of the Ukrainian people,” Sheila said.

Sheila has invested all of her free time to Killarney, not just in a working capacity. In 1999 she was elected onto the Town Council and became the first female Mayor of Killarney in 2003 and was elected again in 2006. She is actively part of SKAL, the international organisation for travel and tourism for professionals around the world and gave one term as president of the organisation. She's also actively involved with Killarney Soroptimists where she spent a year as President amongst business women who host the hugely successful Pancake Tuesday coffee morning, donating the proceeds to local charities annually.

I asked Sheila about KASI.

“Killarney Asylum Seekers and Immigrants (KASI) has been in operation since 2003 and if you saw the small office Marilyn Counihan and I worked out of in New Street to where we are today, with a beautiful garden in Ballycasheen and Go Green Cafe & Refill Store on Beech Road, it is hugely rewarding,” Sheila smiled.

I thought to myself how the Ukrainian people living at the Innisfallen Hotel had struck gold with Sheila working in Front Office but also the Chairperson of the local inter agency group which liaises with the HSE, ETB, INTREO, Kerry County Council etc.

“Sheila, dare I ask, what do you like to do in your spare time?”

Sheila laughed.

“I quite enjoy walking and the new walk way by the Flesk River to Ross Road is especially nice. I am quite partial to Killarney House. What a gem we have right in the town centre. I love gardening also and my favourite flower is the peony rose.

“Outside of your beloved Killarney Sheila, what are your favourite spots? I concluded. “I loved working with the Town Twinning Committee. Killarney is twinning with such lovely countries and cities, Pleinfeld in Germany is my favourite that we are twinned with. I also love the South of France and enjoyed travelling to Toucan with my sister Joan and her family on occasion. In Ireland, I really love to visit my friends in Bundoran, Co. Donegal which boasts a similar landscape to Kerry.

“That’s a long drive to Bundoran Sheila,” I said.

“It is Marie but really it’s just a phone call or two and I’m there,” Sheila replied.

I wasn’t a bit surprised to hear that and we laughed at the notion that you can take the girl out of Killarney but never Killarney out of the girl.

Thank you Sheila Casey. The pleasure was all mine.

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Retiring Garda Sergeant began career in Killarney

Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney. […]

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Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney.

Sergeant In charge at Killarney Garda Station Dermot O’Connell paid tribute to her achievements and her unrelenting commitment to improving the policing environment.

As a former Chairman, Secretary and delegate of the Kerry Branch, Sergeant Dermot O’Connell worked closely with Antoinette in AGSI for many years.

“Her support for members of the Association was second to none. Antoinette always pursued what was right and just. Her ability, knowledge and professionalism was acknowledged both internally and externally by other representative bodies and also professional bodies,” he said.

“When Antoinette arrived here at her first station, the late Jack McGrath was the Sergeant In Charge.”
“As many know Sergeant Jack McGrath frequently walked the beat. During this time Jack shared much of his experience with Antoinette who proved her ability as a competent Garda to Sergeant Jack McGrath. “
“Jack was very impressed by her ability even at that early stage, he always spoke highly of Antoinette and followed her career path with great interest.”

Antoinette subsequently transferred to Limerick (Roxboro Road and Mayorstone Garda Stations). As a Sergeant she moved to the Garda College and completed a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning and a BA in Training and Education.
In 2021 Antoinette was honoured by University Galway with an Alumni Award for her significant contribution in the field of policing.

She became the first female member to serve with the Association of Sergeants and Inspectors at Branch level, National Executive level, President, Deputy General Secretary and finally General Secretary.

“On behalf of the Kerry Branch of AGSI I wish Antoinette the very best in whatever the future holds for her and her family,” added Sergeant O’Connell.

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‘The Bumblebee1000’ Supercar event arriving in Killarney on Saturday

The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday. Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) […]

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The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday.

Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.
After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) and Cashel Palace Hotel (1pm) the convoy will arrive the Europe Hotel and Resort at 5pm.
“’The Bumblebee1000’ is not just about horsepower and adrenaline rushes; it’s about making a difference. As participants roar through the countryside, they’ll also be driving towards a noble cause. This event is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for The Little Blues Heroes charity, supporting the children of the Little Blue Heroes, and making a positive impact on their lives,” said an event spokesperson.
“The Bumblebee1000” is not just a journey; it’s an experience that blends luxury, adventure, and philanthropy in a seamless fusion. Whether behind the wheel of a sleek supercar or a supporter cheering from the sidelines, everyone is invited to be part of this remarkable event.
The cars will depart the Europe Hotel and Resort at 10am on Sunday and will stop off at a charity cars and coffee event in Tarbert at 11am before finishing in Adare at around 2pm.

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