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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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Massive increase in numbers using local bus services

Passenger numbers on local link buses across Kerry have increased by 1727% from 2020 to 2023 according to local Green Party Candidate for Killarney Diarmaid Griffin. This is the highest […]

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Passenger numbers on local link buses across Kerry have increased by 1727% from 2020 to 2023 according to local Green Party Candidate for Killarney Diarmaid Griffin.

This is the highest increase nationally and is due to the investment by the Department of Transport during this government term.

“This service was lacking in former times, especially in rural areas and is a welcome addition to the countryside and villages of Kerry.’ says Green Party Candidate for Killarney,” said Griffin.

“While in the past, a taxi was the only option for those not cycling or driving. Now a service to Killarney is available every Friday morning from my townland of Barleymount. This is just one example of the network of bus routes criss-crossing the county thanks to local link.”

“This project is a notable success as the figures show. Investment in public transport helps alleviate congestion, increases community cohesion and reduces rural isolation. This is all welcome news for the locality,”

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Two weeks to go to Killarney Musical Society’s production of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’There is less than two weeks to show time for the cast of Killarney Musical Society’s production of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’

Killarney Musical Society held its official launch on Sunday where cast members appeared in full costume ahead of the March 5 – 7 performance at the INEC Arena. The launch was […]

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Killarney Musical Society held its official launch on Sunday where cast members appeared in full costume ahead of the March 5 – 7 performance at the INEC Arena.

The launch was followed by a full rehearsal and director Oliver Hurley was also there to lend a hand.

“We were delighted to introduce our lead characters to you. We had Abbey Theatre players Brigid Delia and Michael, who are the narrators throughout the musical drama. Eamonn De Valera , Harry Boland, Joe Emmett, Arthur Griffith, Cathal Brugha, volunteers and of course the beautiful Kitty Kieran were in full costume,” said KMS PRO Linda O’Donoghue.

“Mother Ireland and her five graceful dancers were fabulous. Our director and choreographer Oliver, our musical director Michael Young and the full cast of 64 were there. The singing was powerful. The music in ‘Michael Collins – A Musical Drama’ is distinctly Irish. People will definitely enjoy it.”

TICKETS
Get your tickets in the INEC box office, online at universe.com or at the pop-up ticket office in the Laurel’s Pub, Market Cross from 12 pm to 4 pm between February 29 and March 2.

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