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Sonia named overall Employee of the Year 

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By Michelle Crean

There was great excitement on Monday as to who the main winner would be at the annual Irish Hotels Federation, Kerry Branch, Employee of the Year awards lunch.

Staff at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel Siobhan O'Shea Lez Les Brzozka Robin Bast and Jacinta Prendergast give a 'thumbs up' to their colleague Kevin O'Shea after he was awarded 'in absentia' a special citation and honour after being chosen as a finalist at the IHF Employee of the Year awards special function in Killarney on Monday. Also in the photo are Emer Corridan (vice-chair Kerry IHF) Conor Hennigan (Hennigan Hospitality) and Mary Rose Stafford (MTU judge). Photo: Don MacMonagle

Sonia Smith (third from left front row) who works as a receptionist in The Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney was chosen as the Kerry Hotels ‘Employee of The Year’ at an Irish Hotels Federation special function in Killarney on Monday pictured receiving her award from Emer Corridan (Secretary Kerry Branch IHF). Also included are front from left: Mary Rose Stafford (MTU judge) Chloe Kelliher (Ballygarry Estate Hotel and Spa) Anne Marie Collins (International Hotel) Agnieszka Manda (Killarney Plaza Hotel) Deirdre Moran (Butler Arms Hotel) and Conor Hennigan (Hennigan Hospitality). Second row: Sophie Farrell (Dromhall Hotel) Aaron McCann (The Gleneagle Hotel) and Heather Fletcher (Manor West Hotel). At back: Ramona Scur (The Rose Hotel) Chris O'Sullivan (Muckross Park Hotel) Pal Palfi (Great Southern Killarney) Trish Murphy (Killarney Park Hotel) Lin Zhong (The Brehon Hotel) Siobhan O'Shea (representing Kevin O’Shea from The Aghadoe Heights Hotel) and Danijel Zupan (Parknasilla Resort Hotel). Photo: Don MacMonagle

Sonia Smith who works as a receptionist in The Cahernane House Hotel was chosen as the Kerry Hotels Employee of The Year at an Irish Hotels Federation special function in Killarney on Monday pictured receiving her award from Emer Corridan (Secretary Kerry Branch IHF). Pictured left: Anne Marie Collins (International Hotel) who received a special citation for her work in the hotel industry. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Sonia Smith who works as a receptionist in The Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney was chosen as the Kerry Hotels ‘Employee of The Year’ at an Irish Hotels Federation special function in Killarney on Monday. She is pictured receiving her award from Emer Corridan (Secretary Kerry Branch IHF) with Michael Magnier (IHF). Photo: Don MacMonagle

Over 60 guests, with nominees from 16 different hotels, attended the event in The Brehon Hotel. It was hosted by Conor Hennigan and attended by Mary Rose Stafford from MTU Tralee and Michael Magner - Vice President of Irish Hotels Federation.

Emer Corridan, Secretary of the Kerry Branch, described the nominees as the "best of best that Kerry has to offer".

"Each candidate was nominated by their hotel for their outstanding commitment and contribution to the overall success of the hotel and independently interviewed by two judges, Mary Rose Stafford from MTU Tralee and Michael Vaughan from Vaughan Lodge in Clare. They had an exceptionally difficult task and were blown away by the positive attitude, the levels of guest care, the team spirit and the length of service to the hospitality industry, which ranged from two to 40 years."

After a long deliberation the winner was announced as Sonia Smith from Cahernane House Hotel as the overall Employee of the Year 2022.

"Sonia started in 2018 in the accommodation department after completing her Leaving Certificate. She quickly showed her aptitude and ability and moved to reception in 2019 and was promoted to reception supervisor in 2022. She is an amazing leader and team player and loves going above and beyond to create amazing memories for the Cahernane guests."

There were two further awards for 'Service to the Irish Hotel Industry on Behalf of the Irish Hotels Federation', these were awarded to Kevin O'Shea from the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Anne Marie Collins from The International Hotel.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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