One of Dromoland Castle’s longest serving members of staff has retired after over three decades with the business.
John Hehir took the position of Director of Sales & Marketing for the County Clare luxury hotel in 1986, having spent the previous six years with Shannon Development Company and Shannon Castle Tours in the US promoting leisure and incentive travel to Ireland.
A sociable person in every sense, John who now lives in Quin spent his 37-year tenure at one of the country’s most iconic hotels travelling to and from the US, hosting dinners, extolling the virtues of his homeland and converting those all-important sales. His easygoing nature and innate gift for forming strong relationships ensured that Ireland was put firmly on the map, particularly with regard to Incentive and Conference business from the States.
Speaking about his departure, John reflected, “I am extremely proud to have been part of the Dromoland team for so many years of my working life. The hotel consistently delivers a genuine and enjoyable Irish castle experience for its many guests and it has been a pleasure to have been involved in that.
“Selling Ireland overseas has never really felt like work – our worldwide reputation as fun loving, friendly and engaging people creates the perfect environment for visitors to experience everything that is good about Ireland such as our history, music, unique sports etc. I constantly met people abroad that recalled conversations and tall tales from years past, some not necessarily true, but always entertaining. It’s easy for visitors to be part of the banter and craic in Ireland. What we offer as a country is hard to beat”.
Proud Limerick man John has always been a keen hurler – previously taking home two Limerick county medals and All-Ireland club medals. Now aged 76, he intends to spend his well-earned retirement playing golf “badly”, taking walks with his wife Yvonne in the countryside surrounding their home in Quin and, of course, watching his beloved Limerick play.
Dromoland Castle Hotel Director Mark Nolan paid tribute to his now former colleague. “Starting three years before I even came into the hotel, John has been an integral part of our team for as long as I can remember. He has always brought such life and warmth to the hotel and has a kind word and smile for everyone, not seeing him every day will feel like we’re missing our right arm! On behalf of everyone who works at Dromoland Castle, I’d like to thank John for his many years of exceptional service and wish him all the very best in this next chapter as he finally puts his feet up and hopefully allows his body clock to finally readjust to our Irish time zone”.