Sheila has dedicated her entire life to the hotel industry
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?”
“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.
Street Orienteering added to Wander Wild programme
By Sean Moriarty A new event has been added to the extensive Wander Wild Festival next weekend. Kerry Orienteers will run a family-friendly Urban Orienteering event as part of the […]
By Sean Moriarty
A new event has been added to the extensive Wander Wild Festival next weekend.
Kerry Orienteers will run a family-friendly Urban Orienteering event as part of the festival on March 25.
Participants can start at the Killarney Plaza Hotel Basecamp anytime from 2-4pm on Saturday.
Orienteering is an exciting outdoor adventure sport which involves walking or running whilst navigating around a course using a detailed map and sometimes a compass. And the Wander Wild Street Orienteering will have courses suitable for all ages and abilities.
“The aim is to navigate in sequence between a set of control points and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace. If you need any help or tips members of Kerry Orienteering Club will be available to assist during the day,” said organiser Brendan O’Brien.
Two routes are available: ‘Wander’ – 2km (easy, wheelchair and buggy accessible) and Wild – 4km (moderate), and bookings can be made via: https://t.ly/jHm2R.
Quiz helps to fund Easter pilgrimage
A popular annual table quiz, which raises funds to send Kerry children and young adults with special needs to Lourdes, will be held in Killarney next week. The Tim Moore […]
A popular annual table quiz, which raises funds to send Kerry children and young adults with special needs to Lourdes, will be held in Killarney next week.
The Tim Moore Memorial Table Quiz will be held in the Gleneagle Hotel at 7.30pm on Wednesday, March 29.
The entry fee for tables of four is €40 and it is €20 for teams of four schoolchildren with great prizes up for grabs on the night.
All proceeds will go to the Irish Pilgrimage Trust which organises trips to Lourdes every Easter for children and young adults with additional needs.
They will be brought on the pilgrimage on Easter Sunday and all the volunteer helpers and medical staff that will accompany them will cover for their own travel costs.
The annual quiz, which is running for close on 30 years, is dedicated to the memory of the late Killarney accountant Tim Moore who was a tireless campaigner for the Irish Pilgrimage Trust. He passed away, suddenly, in 2002 and his friends have continued the quiz as a tribute to his legacy and to ensure the charity continues to be supported.
It hasn’t been held for the past two years due to the pandemic but all involved are thrilled that it is back for 2023.
Kieran Coffey, the retired principal of Fossa National School, is one of those who spearhead the Kerry pilgrimage to Lourdes and he has appealed to the public to support the very important fundraiser which helps offset some of the costs involved.
“We are delighted to be in a position to continue Tim’s great work and to dedicate the quiz to him. The event is always so well supported by the people of the greater Killarney area and we greatly appreciate that generosity,” said Kieran.
Street Orienteering added to Wander Wild programme
By Sean Moriarty A new event has been added to the extensive Wander Wild Festival next weekend. Kerry Orienteers will...
Quiz helps to fund Easter pilgrimage
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