Skal International Kerry used the occasion of the annual President’s Dinner, in the Muckross Park Hotel, to honour one of the founders of the club, Conor Hennigan, formerly General Manager at the Malton Hotel, Killarney.
At a glittering event nearly 150 friends and Skaleagues turned out to enjoy a reception hosted by the Muckross Park Hotel, followed by a delicious dinner at the 5-star Kerry property.
Master of Ceremonies for the night was Michael Rosney, Killeen House Hotel. This ace commentator reviewed Conor’s career in the hospitality industry from growing up in Youghal, Co Cork, to today.
A painting by well-known Kerry sport and landscape artist Paul Downey depicting the 10th hole on the Killeen Golf Course was presented to Conor. Michael compared Conor’s career to the game of golf. Golf is a game of two halves – the front nine and back nine. The tenth is the beginning of the back nine, similar to Conor’s career. He is now starting the second part of his career – the back nine!
The President of Kerry Skal Club, Margaret Cahill, welcomed a number of guests – Deputy Mayor of Killarney Cllr Michael Gleeson and his wife Kathleen; President of Skal Republic of Ireland Sean O’Driscoll and his wife Marie; Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive, Tourism Ireland and his wife Marion; Kate O’Leary, President of the Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Proprietor of the popular restaurant and bar, The Laurels, in Killarney. Also attending were Joan McCarthy, Head of Tourism, Kerry County Council, and Bishop Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry.
Members of other Irish Skal clubs were in attendance. Representing the Dublin Club was President Daragh O’Neill and Sarah, Galway President Noreen Darcy, and representing the Cork Club, Nora and Dermot Cronin.
Niall Gibbons addressed the group and highlighted the fantastic opportunities being reaped by Tourism Ireland using the Star Wars film currently on release around the world. It is expected that the coverage of the Skelligs in this blockbuster film will drive demand for Kerry holidays this year.