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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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How to have the best skincare routine at home

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Home care is essential for glowing, youthful skin. It’s like brushing your teeth, it must be done twice a day. Step […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Home care is essential for glowing, youthful skin. It’s like brushing your teeth, it must be done twice a day.

Step one: Cleanse to remove sweat, oil, dirt and other pollutants that your skin naturally collects throughout the day and night. It’s the first step in your skincare routine and shouldn’t be rushed.

How to do it; Cleanse your skin in the morning and in the evening to keep your pores clear and your face fresh. Your cleanser may vary based on skin type, but with all cleansers, the general consensus is to apply them using an upward, circular motion so as to prevent wrinkles from forming. Make sure your hands are clean in order to prevent excess dirt from entering your pores.

Step two: There is a lot of confusion around toner, and when you’re first establishing a daily skincare routine, it may even seem unnecessary. But most experts agree that toning is an important addition to your skin care routine with beneficial effects for your skin. After you cleanse your skin of impurities, toner removes any residue left behind by the cleanser as well as any make-up or oils your cleanser might have missed. The added cleansing effects help prepare your skin to absorb moisturiser and minimise the appearance of pores. Some toners may have PH balancing and antiseptic effects as well. Apply toner right after you have cleansed your skin while it is still damp. The best way to apply it is with a cotton pad or cotton ball, simply soaking cotton pad with toner and wiping upward and out, starting at your neck.

Step 3: Exfoliate. Our skin is constantly shedding millions of skin cells every day, but sometimes those cells can build up on the surface of our skin and need some extra help to be removed. Exfoliating removes these dead skin cells that have accumulated in our pores. If you struggle with blackheads, acne or breakouts, you’re not going to want to miss this step.

It’s best to exfoliate after toning and before moisturising. You should exfoliate one to three times a week, but this depends on your skin type and how it reacts to exfoliation. Experiment and find what works best for you. There are chemical exfoliators and granule exfoliators such as your traditional sugar or salt scrub. Both can be effective tools for removing dead skin cells, but chemical exfoliating ingredients like AHA and BHA are often more effective in getting deep into your pores and removing buildup.

Properly cleansed skin will allow your next steps e.g. serums and moisturisers get to the right layers of the skin where they will be most effective.

For a skincare consultation or more advice just ask Jill on 064 6632966.

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Annual Christmas motorbike charity road run launched

The Kerry Bikers are hosting their annual Christmas Bike Run on December 18. The event will raise funds for St Francis’ Special School at St Mary of the Angels in […]

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The Kerry Bikers are hosting their annual Christmas Bike Run on December 18.

The event will raise funds for St Francis’ Special School at St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort and Eagle Lodge in Tralee.

Now in its sixth year, the run, which is organised by an amalgamation of several Kerry motorcycle clubs under the banner of Kerry Bikers, will visit Killarney.

The run gets underway at 10.30am from Tralee. The first stop off is in Sheahan’s Centra on the Muckross Road where the Tralee group will be joined by local motorcyclists before setting off on a yet to be decided route.

“We will announce the route in Killarney. Last year we went to Killorglin, Farranfore and Castleisland. This year Abbeyfeale and Listowel may be in reach and if so we will make donations to Nano Nagle Special School too,” organiser Dave Foley said.

Over one hundred motorcycles are expected to take part in the run. Last year the full convoy measured 1.6km from start to finish.

“We hope to exceed that this year,” added Foley

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