You've Been Served: Des McGrath

You've Been Served: Des McGrath
Des McGrath is guest relations manager at Mount Juliet, Co Kilkenny

I worked in sales as a rep for 33 years with Beamish and Crawford in Cork. I fell into hospitality by accident when offered a part-time job as a caddy on the golf course here in Mount Juliet.

This is now my twelfth year in hospitality. On the third year of my part-time work, the general manager at the time offered me a full-time job as estate host, doing general meet and greet with the guests and running the Mount Juliet Fishing Club. Three years ago I was promoted to guest relations manager. I’ve met people from the four corners of the earth, it’s very rewarding.

Driving in the gates into the wonderful estate each morning, peace and tranquillity surrounding me and knowing this is my job, I just love it.

First thing on the agenda is to check the arrivals coming that day to ensure all requests are catered for along with the rooms ready for each timed arrival. Some guests have particular requests that we are happy to cater for if we can.

I’ll meet with the guests and chat through their plans and itineraries while they are here. If I can assist with suggesting and booking activities for the day, or organise reservations for local places to see, theatres or restaurants etc, I’ll do that.

The Mount Juliet Estate was built in the 18th century and has a wonderful history. I host the historical tour that tells the story of the estate.

There could be up to three tours a day, driving guests around our beautiful 1,500 acres estate grounds and incorporating the famous Ballylinch Stud. Guests love to hear the story especially about the Butler and McCalmont family.

I would also welcome and host guests coming to the Michelin star-awarded Lady Helen restaurant and welcome wedding parties to the estate.

I met President Jimmy Carter in May of 2013, he was here on a weeks’ vacation with his wife. I had the pleasure of bringing him fly fishing on our three mile stretch of River Nore. Fishing was a fond hobby of his and he was excellent at it.

Bruce Springsteen and his band stayed in May 2015 and he was a delight. I brought him, his wife, and daughter on a tour of the stud farm — they are avid equestrian fans. Another interesting person I met was John Brennan ex head of CIA in USA, he was here on vacation with his Dad Eoin. Eoin worked here on the estate 1940-44 and trained as a blacksmith. They stayed here in September 2013.

mountjuliet.ie

More on this topic

Tourism industry must provide value for money , warn bossesTourism industry must provide value for money , warn bosses

Tourism Ireland hoping for 7% growth in visitor numbers by 2022Tourism Ireland hoping for 7% growth in visitor numbers by 2022

Watch: This is what Dublin's white-water rafting centre will look likeWatch: This is what Dublin's white-water rafting centre will look like

What is dark tourism and why is it controversial?What is dark tourism and why is it controversial?

More in this Section

Scene + Heard: The most played artist on Spotify and all the latest music newsScene + Heard: The most played artist on Spotify and all the latest music news

Brilliant books and Christmas collectables  - here's our wish listBrilliant books and Christmas collectables - here's our wish list

‘I’ll write you a song for €1,000' - John Spillane's unique way to fund new album‘I’ll write you a song for €1,000' - John Spillane's unique way to fund new album

Ireland’s next big thing: Niamh Algar on her incredible yearIreland’s next big thing: Niamh Algar on her incredible year


Latest Showbiz

He was joined on the red carpet by co-stars including Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black.Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson pretty in pink for Jumanji premiere in London

The actor has made his first trip to the UK since the accident in September.Kevin Hart ‘feeling good’ after car crash left him badly injured

Saint is celebrating his fourth birthday.Kim Kardashian West wishes son Saint happy birthday with touching Instagram post

The Fleabag star makes a brief appearance in Sam Mendes’ First World War epic.Irish actor Andrew Scott recalls mistakes which ruined his scene in 1917

More From The Irish Examiner