FOUNDER & COMPANY ADVISOR
This year I celebrate 45 years in the hotel recruitment business. Looking back it has been a very rewarding roller coaster career, many successes and lots of challenging times. My abiding sense is one of gratitude for the many great people I have been associated with over the years.
The tourism and hospitality business was made for Ireland. It has contributed hugely to our economic success and our development as a confident nation. Revenues and employment from tourism and hospitality compare very favourably with other economic sectors. The unique Irish hospitality experience is a major influencer in garnering overseas investment, and our success as an exporting nation.
Anyways, this is supposed to be a Bio…..I grew up in Mayo and went to boarding school in Garbally college Ballinasloe. After secondary I tried textile design for a while (I come from Foxford). Then I opted for a trainee management programme in the Old Jury’s in Dame St. Later, with the help of Jorgen Blum of Shannon College I got another training stint in Switzerland and eventually wound up in Germany. There I was mentored by a wonderful man named Hans Schmidt, who arranged for me to attend Hotel School in Heidelberg.
I returned to Ireland in 1969 and worked in Renvyle House with Hugh Coyle. At the end of the season Bernard McDonagh hired me and I worked for him in the Clare Inn Hotel and Dromoland Castle. In 1972 Noel Huggard offered me a role to open and run the newly built Ostan RinnRua in Ballinskelligs. While in Kerry I met with Bob Frizelle, and the notion of an “employment agency” for hotel staff was born.
With the help of the IMI we did a business plan and launched Action with our late wives Mary and Gerry in October 1974.