I’ve been working in the hospitality industry for 23 years. I was introduced to this world during my fourth-year work experience placement in Rochestown Park Hotel.
From there, I moved to the Maryborough House where I spent the next eight years. I looked into a course that would keep me in the trade and advance my skills. I went to GMIT Galway to do the trainee manager development programme and never looked back.
I started my employment in the Carrigaline Court Hotel back in March 2012. I was hired as a duty manager and with the help and guidance of our general manager Jerry Healy, I am now the deputy general manager. I couldn’t ask for a better team, boss and owner in Peter Collins. The hotel has recently undertaken a €3m renovation, so to be part of that was exciting.
Obviously, we will plan ahead and prepare for events to the best of our abilities, but in the hospitality industry, you tend to work minute to minute rather than week to week. With so many moving parts, you have to be well organised, but also adept at problem-solving in a short time frame. With so much activity under one roof, no one day is the same and I love that variety.
I fondly recall the 20-year anniversary of the Carrigaline Court Hotel. We had a big party for all the locals and it was very heart-warming. We celebrated not only the hotel turning 20 but also several staff who had been with us since day one. To see how far they had come in their careers was impressive and slightly daunting.
I love the interaction with our guests for weddings. Some days it just doesn’t feel like work and I’m stealing a living! I try to meet with brides and grooms in advance of their big day so that they are welcomed by a familiar face. You only get one chance to get things right. I’m lucky enough that we have a very professional wedding coordinator inSinéad Gillen, a fantastic head chef in Peter Hennessy and a solid banqueting crew.
Nothing surprises me in this business anymore! For instance, one day you could be looking after a VIP conference, then the following day you’re trying to track down the owner of a lost budgie in our decking area!
At the Carrigaline Court Hotel, we aim to exceed expectations and receiving positive and complimentary feedback is our reward.
Barry O’Flynn is deputy general manager of the four-star Carrigaline Court Hotel.