Proprietors, CEOs, Managers, and Chefs

Allow us to introduce you to 10 incredible women that have brought Ireland’s Blue Book through nearly 49 years of hospitality.

 

1. Kela Hodgins - Proprietor at Dunowen House, Co. Cork

Kela Hodgins is the proprietor at Dunowen House in Cork. Having previously worked in marketing in Dublin, Kela made her dreams a reality upon purchasing Dunowen House in West Cork with her husband and between them created a luxury self-catering experience. Since January 2016, Dunowen House and the cottage has welcomed visitors from all over the world. 

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 over 20 years' marketing experience, both domestic and international. Michelle has managed the Blue Book for over 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 and Ireland’s Host of the Year at the 2020 Georgina Campbell Awards.

  

8. 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 leader ship opened the Duck Restaurant on the grounds of Marlfield in 2015. 

9. Catherine Dundon – Proprietor of Dunbrody House, Co Wexford

Catherine is co-owner of Dunbrody Country House in Wexford having bought the hotel and turning it into the beautiful country house that is is today. With a background is in international languages and marketing, Catherine looks after all of the sales and marketing, the trade shows and the international sale side of things and the corporate bookings of the hotel. 

10. 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.

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