Ovation Ireland DMC had the pleasure to meet Gillian Griffin, Assistant Director of Sales of Adare Manor, Limerick, Ireland.
How did you get into the business/the role you’re in today?
“Honestly, I fell into it! I studied Business in College, never ever did I think I would work in hotels and then I started in Adare Manor the summer of 2002 and never left!”
What have you learnt about tourism in Ireland in the past ten years?
“Well 10 years ago was the start of recession which I don’t think any of us will ever forget…it was a tough couple of years but what doesn’t kill us will make us stronger! At Adare Manor, we have changed quite significantly. We were bought by the McManus family 5 years ago and they closed the property after a year of trading for 2 years and undertook one of the largest investments to ever be seen in Ireland in terms of restoration, refurbishment and expansion of the property so we added a lot of extra stings to our bow. We now have 104 bedrooms, a Tom Fazio designed Golf Course home to the 2026 Ryder Cup. The most exquisite ballroom that can cater for 350 guests and much more”
What are the challenges facing hoteliers today?
”To always staying ahead of the game but I think Ireland is very fortunate with such a small country that it offers an incredible selection of properties and there has been a huge investment in Irish properties over the years. For a small country, we have a lot to offer!! There is also no secret Brexit is looming so we will see what opportunities/challenges that brings. For Adare, in particular, we rely on our local international airport – Shannon, so there is always the challenge of needing more routes”
What is your ideal day off in Ireland?
”Different adventures with my husband and 2 boys whether it is bringing them to the park or heading to the zoo or just playing hurling on the green!’’
Now a bit more about Gillian …
Where is your favourite holiday spot in Ireland?
”This is a tricky one, I’m originally from County Cork so I love my home county!! But I love anywhere in the countryside… I do have a soft spot for Dingle!”
What is Ireland’s best-kept secret/hidden gem?
”Really ?? Adare Manor of course!”
Other than Ireland, what is your favourite holiday destination?
”Our go-to is probably the Algarve in Portugal (my husband isn’t keen on flying and loves to golf!)”
Finally, what is the number one thing that makes you proud of Ireland?
”How genuinely friendly the Irish and how passionate we are about everything our country has to offer especially when it comes to sports!”