12 Leading Ladies In Irish Hospitality
To celebrate International Woman's Day, Ireland' Blue Book are delighted to introduce you to 12 incredible women that are at the forefront of Irish hospitality and tourism; 12 Leading ladies in Irish Hospitality; Proprietors, CEOs, Managers, Chefs and Founders!
PIC SHOWS: CLAIRE SCALLY – COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR OF KILLARNEY ROYAL HOTEL & HAYFIELD MANOR, MYRTLE ALLEN, FOUNDING MEMBER OF IRELAND'S BLUE BOOK & PROPRIETOR OF BALLYMALOE HOUSE, CO CORK, CHRISTINA MCCAULEY – HEAD CHEF AT COOPERSHILL HOUSE, CO. SLIGO
1. MAYA NIKOLAEVA – GENERAL MANAGER OF BELLEEK CASTLE, CO. MAYO
Maya Nikolaeva is the General Manager of Belleek Castle. Born in Lovech, Bulgaria, Maya studied Tourism and Economics at University in Varna, and soon took up a position in the Island of Jersey at the Revere Hotel. She progressed rapidly to become Assistant Manager. Maya moved to Ireland in January 2011, as manager at the Belleek Castle. Through hard work, long hours and never-ending attention to detail, Maya pulled her team together, and pulled this marvellous, but neglected property from its knees to an award winner destination restaurant and hotel. She is a charming hostess for the Castle aficionados, and a tough manager with high expectations from her team. Maya is continually striving to improve the quality of the existing product and we’ll see many additional enhancements in 2018.
2. CHRISTINA MCCAULEY – HEAD CHEF AT COOPERSHILL HOUSE, CO. SLIGO
Christina McCauley, born and raised in Strandhill, Co. Sligo, is the accomplished chef of the magnificent Coopershill House and she is responsible for the incredible food enjoyed by all who visit. Christina trained under Darina Allen at the Ballymaloe cookery school, before moving back to Sligo to lead the kitchen at Coopershill. Christina is passionate about fresh, locally produced food, and as the house is fortunate to be situated at the centre of a 500-acre estate and with its own vegetable and fruit gardens, her dishes are seasonal and bursting with amazing flavours.
3. PATRICIA ROBERTS – PROPRIETOR OF NO.1 PERY SQUARE, LIMERICK
In the heart of Limerick’s Georgian Quarter is No.1 Pery Square, a period townhouse owned and operated by Limerick local, Patricia Roberts. Patricia opened this luxurious and intimate boutique townhouse in early 2009 and has seen it go from strength to strength over the years, despite opening in the middle of a financial crisis. No.1 Pery Square is open throughout the year welcomes visitors from all around the world. The townhouse comprises of 20 bedrooms, the Sash Restaurant and a Voya spa tucked in the cellar of the property.
4. MICHELLE MAGUIRE – CEO OF IRELAND’S BLUE BOOK
Michelle is a marketing professional with 20 years' marketing experience, both domestic and international. Michelle has managed the Blue Book for the past 10 years. Prior to taking over managing Ireland’s Blue Book, Michelle worked in the software industry in Dublin and Tokyo. Michelle has a degree in International Marketing and Japanese from DCU and a postgraduate diploma in Advertising.
5. CLAIRE SCALLY – COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR OF KILLARNEY ROYAL HOTEL & HAYFIELD MANOR
Claire is the youngest daughter of Joe & Margaret Scally, proprietors of Hayfield collection. She holds a degree from Dublin Business School where she then went on to study fashion marketing in London College of Fashion. Claire never thought that she would work in hotels, however having been immersed in the hotel industry from an early age, one thing led to another and Claire became involved in the family hotel business where she is now Communications Director for the Hayfield Family Collection. Claire is based in Killarney and her role involves liaising with visiting agents, welcoming FAM trips and greeting VIP guests. Claire also attends sales trips on behalf of the collection and represents at local events including Kerry & Cork Convention Bureau.
6. ROIE MCCANN – GENERAL MANAGER OF CLARE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE, CO. MAYO
Roie McCann is the General Manager of Clare Island Lighthouse. An experienced interior designer, Roie helped ensure the sensitive restoration of the lighthouse with owner Goesta Fischer. Roie put her eclectic flair into the design of the lighthouse and opened its doors to guests in 2013. Clare Island Lighthouse is a special place where guests can look forward to unique hotel experience thanks to Roie and her team.
7. MARY T SWEENEY, PROPRIETOR OF CASTLE GROVE COUNTRY HOUSE, DONEGAL
Originally from Co Cork, Mary T came from a rural farming background. She soon developed a keen interest in hospitality and trained for 3 years in a hotel in Cork City. Mary also worked in Dublin before becoming manager to a hotel in Donegal where she also met her husband, Raymond. In 1989 Mary and Raymond purchased Castle Grove House, transforming it into a luxury four-star hotel, while preserving the character and beauty of the original house and expansive grounds. Mary T was the recipient of the highly coveted Hall of Fame Award at the Letterkenny Business Awards 2017.
8. & 9. LAURA & MARGARET BOWE – DIRECTORS OF MARLFIELD HOUSE, CO. WEXFORD
Marlfield House, a beautifully restored Regency period house, is Managed by sisters Laura and Margaret Bowe who took up the helm from their parents, Mary and Ray eight years ago. Laura and Margaret both attended Loreto school in Wexford before working in their respective careers in the film industry and conference management. Both sisters soon returned home to continue the family business and under their leadership opened the Duck Restaurant on the grounds of Marlfield in 2015. This year Marlfield celebrates 40 years in business and offering guests a refreshingly relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, mirrored by the courtesy of the Laura and Margaret and their dedicated team.
10. SHELLY STOKES – PROPRIETOR OF CASTLE DURROW, CO. LAOIS.
Shelly was born and raised in the Netherlands. She studied marketing and set up a food styling business before moving to Ireland. In the 1990s, Shelly and her husband Peter purchased the 18th century Castle Durrow and began 3-year renovation to create one of Irelands luxurious Country House Hotels. Shelly with her family manage the daily running of the castle and they are an intricate part of the charming homely feel.
11. SALLYANNE CLARKE, PROPRIETOR OF L’ECRIVAIN RESTAURANT, DUBLIN
Sallyanne is the proprietor of the Michelin-Starred L’Ecrivain Restaurant. Since opening its doors in 1989, Sallyanne has been the heart of the restaurant, welcoming guests and ensuring a good time is being had by all . L’Ecrivain joined Ireland’s Blue Book in 2004 and has since been an active member, with Sallyanne being chairperson of the association from 2015-2018
12. MYRTLE ALLEN, FOUNDING MEMBER OF IRELAND'S BLUE BOOK & PROPRIETOR OF BALLYMALOE HOUSE, CO CORK
Ireland's Blue Book is what it is because of Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House, who founded the Association in 1974 with 11 other country houses. Myrtle and these group of members realised that there was a gap between the bed and breakfast accommodation and the larger hotel industry which was not being marketed at that time. By filling this gap the Association has ensured the economic well-being of some of Ireland's historic properties. Myrtle also ran Ballymaloe House, which continues to be run by the Allen family and now celebrates over 50 years of international recognition as the home of Irish Country cuisine and hospitality.