MBE picks up Special Recognition Award at NI Hotel Awards
AN HOTELIER, who began his career in the hospitality sector over 50 years ago as a 12-year-old boy working in a kitchen, was given special recognition at the 2019 Northern Ireland Hotel Awards for his services to the industry.
The awards, which took place at Titanic Belfast, saw Eugene McKeever of the McKeever Hotel Group get a standing ovation as he collected his award in front of hundreds of people working in the hospitality sector who gathered to celebrate the performance of hotels across the region.
The 2019 Special Recognition Award, which was presented by the event’s headline sponsor, Ulster Carpets, was presented to Mr McKeever following consideration from the independent panel of judges led by Dr Peter Bolan, Director of International Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Ulster, travel journalist Geoff Hill, Adam Stockman, owner of The Ivory Belfast and Cate Conway of Quirky Weddings.
Mr McKeever, who was accompanied by his wife Catherine, owns five hotels including Corrs Corner Hotel where he started out as a 12-year-old. He also owns Dunsilly Hotel, Adair Arms Hotel, Dillons Hotel in Letterkenny and The 4 Star Dunadry Hotel and Gardens. His dedication to tourism and hospitality was recognised with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Speaking after the awards, David Perry, the Events Director, described Mr McKeever as ‘inspirational’.
He said: “The 2019 Northern Ireland Hotel Awards are all about celebrating performance and achievements. Eugene McKeever shows to us all what hard work and dedication can achieve. He is inspirational to everyone in the hotel industry so it’s a privilege to have Mr McKeever and his wife Catherine join us all in this celebration of hotels, B&Bs, bars and restaurants. The 2019 Northern Ireland Hotel Awards have been a major success and we would like to pay homage to Eugene McKeever and indeed all of the other award winners, those who were Highly Commended and everyone who was nominated.
“We also would like to thank our headline sponsor, Ulster Carpets and our category sponsors – The Ivory, Belfast Artisan Distillery, Art On A Tin and Quirky Weddings.”
Echoing Mr Perry’s sentiments, Joyce McIvor, Contract Sales Manager, UK & Ireland for Ulster Carpets, said: “Ulster Carpets has been in business for over 80 years, and, while we have enjoyed success all over the world, the hospitality industry in the UK and Ireland remains very important to us.
“As headline sponsor of these prestigious awards, we are delighted to be able to support an event which showcases and rewards the excellence of our local hotel industry, especially at a time when Northern Ireland is enjoying record levels of tourism and investment. We want to congratulate all the finalists and the winners for their success.”
1: The 2019 Housekeeper/Housekeeping Team of the Year Winner – Colleen Breen of The Seagoe Hotel, Craigavon
2: The 2019 Receptionist/Front of House Team of the Year Winner – Front of House Team of Malone Lodge Hotel, Belfast
- The 2019 Deputy General Manager of the Year Winner – John Mathews of Killeavy Castle Estate, Co Armagh
4: The 2019 Romantic Getaway Winner was Killeavy Castle Estate, Co Armagh
5: 2019 Events Team/Individual Winner was Vicki Cunningham of Balmoral Hotel Belfast
6: 2019 Wedding Team of the Year Winner was awarded to Malone Lodge Hotel
7: 2019 Wedding Resort of the Year Winner was the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel
8: The 2019 4 Star Hotel of the Year Winner – The Enniskillen Hotel
9: The 2019 Boutique Hotel of the Year Winner – The Bushmills Inn, Bushmills
10: The 2019 Country House Hotel of the Year Winner – The Mellon Country Inn, Co Tyrone
11: 2019 Sales & Marketing Manager of the Year Winner is Therese McAvoy of The Whistledown Hotel, Newry
12: 2019 Bar Manager of the Year Winner – Seamus Morgan of Killeavy Castle Estate
13: 2019 Restaurant Manager of the Year Winner is Andrew Smith of Me & Mrs Jones, Portstewart
14: The 2019 Food & Beverage Team/Individual of the Year is Winner – Golflinks Hotel, Portrush
15: 2019 Bar Dining Hotel of the Year Winner – The Seagoe Hotel
16: 2019 Hotel Bar of the Year Winner is Malmaison Belfast
17: 2019 Head Chef of the Year Winner is Darragh Dooley – Killeavy Castle Estate
18: 2019 Standout Chef of the Year Winner is Annette Grant of The Whistledown Hotel, Newry
19: 2019 Hotel Restaurant of the Year Winner is Killeavy Castle Estate
20: The 2019 3 Star Hotel of the Year Winner is O’Neill Arms Country House Hotel
21: 2019 City Hotel of the Year Winner – Malmaison – Belfast
22: The 2019 Business & Conference Hotel of the Year Winner – The Seagoe Hotel, Craigavon
23: The 2019 Pet Friendly Hotel of the Year Winner – Malmaison Belfast
24: The 2019 Bed & Breakfast of the Year Winner – The Rocks
25: The 2019 General Manager of the Year Winner – Berni Lively of The Whistledown Hotel, Newry
26: The 2019 Standout Individual Winner – Paul Toner of Shelleven House
27: 2019 Special Recognition Winner – Eugene McKeever MBE of the McKeever Hotel Group
28: 2019 People’s Choice Winner – Inn on the Coast
For further information please contact Eleanor McGillie on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07709805379