Katie Cunningham, Killeedy, is now working at Adare Manor
WHEN 21-year-old Limerick woman Katie Cunningham was working under visa limitations in Australia earlier this year, she never imagined that she’d be flying home and into a dream hotel job.
The young Killeedy woman, who is one of Adare Manor’s newest senior food and beverage assistants, has settled back into the community where she grew up, having secured work along with more than 300 others ahead of the resort’s reopening.
Those on the team have been fortunate to be employed in the cream of Irish hospitality jobs, and the good news is that there are still up to 40 positions still vacant at the resort that promises to be like no other in Europe.
“I had come here for years, as a child and as a teenager with family members, whether to the clubhouse or to the manor for afternoon tea,” Katie told the Leader.
“When I was over in Australia a couple of months ago, I saw that they were refurbishing. I’ll be honest, I was absolutely kicking myself that I wasn’t at home for this opportunity,” she said.
“Lo and behold, my circumstances changed, and I ended up having to come home a lot sooner than I thought. The day after I flew into Ireland, I was interviewed, and here I am.”
Like many rural young people in this country, Katie made the move down under in search of a new adventure—and work.
“I left three days after my Leaving Cert results from Hazelwood College. I had a smile on my face and I made it work.
“I was in Australia for about two years. I lived in Western Australia, first in Perth and then in a mining town called Kalgoorlie,” she said.
Visa restrictions limit workers to only staying with the same employer for a specified amount of time, and Katie moved between jobs while in Oz.
She honed her food and beverage skills as duty manager in a boutique bar over nine months while abroad, but the new Adare team are learning everything afresh ahead of its reopening.
“We’ve been here for a week and a half now, between training and learning all the product knowledge. We’ve been doing everything, from learning how to polish the wine glasses right up to dressing tables, doing whiskey tasting, pouring champagne. Everything that you would expect to happen in a hotel of this calibre, we are learning how to do it from the bottom up,” said Katie.
“The amount of detail and love and passion that is going into training us alone is phenomenal, never mind the amount of detail that has gone into the manor itself. It really is beyond everything,” she said.
Being back in County Limerick after spending two years in bustling and sun-drenched Australia has been a bit of an adjustment, but diving into a new workplace has proven just the ticket for Katie.
“Everyone has got that fantastic mindset, we really want to learn. We have all known Adare Manor through the years, so sharing those same values and visions with colleagues really does make you feel a bit more at home,” she said.
The new wave of staff members were some of the first to get to see inside the new manor after it’s massive refurbishment.
“It is absolutely jaw-dropping. Words cannot describe how stunning it is.”