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Meet the team at The Anner Hotel in Thurles

Sinead Goldsboro

Reporter:

THE new-look Anner Hotel on the outskirts of Thurles, County Tipperary, is a "rare pearl" in the crown of the investor who purchased it late last year and who has since greatly refurbished the popular 92-bedroom establishment.

What would the hero of the song, She Lived by The Anner, make of the changes that have been made to the hotel that honours both her and the beautiful river that flows through the Premier County?

Sold in 2017 and greatly refurbished, the new-look Anner Hotel on the outskirts of Thurles town, the birthplace of the GAA, is like the hero of the song, a "rare pearl" in the crown of Austrian investor Thomas Roeggla and his Strategic Capital Investment Fund plc.

The Anner Hotel was purchased by Strategic Capital Investment Fund ICAV (SCIF) in October 2017. Since late 2014, SCIF has acquired several hotels across Ireland and currently has in excess of 1,000 guest rooms, 64 resort houses and 1,300 employees.

Since the acquisition of the hotels, SCIF has invested over €7 million to greatly enhance the facilities in the hotels with further capital expenditure projects of €7m planned in 2018 and beyond. SCIF is owned by Austrian Investor Thomas Roeggla and is represented by Davy Real Estate in Ireland.

The hotel group also owns Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa in Killarney, recently exchanged Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway, Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort in Carlow, The Fitzwilton Hotel in Waterford City, Cavan Crystal Hotel in Cavan, Diamond Coast Hotel in Sligo, Anner Hotel Thurles, McWilliam Park Hotel Claremorris Co Mayo.

SCIF hotels in Ireland are managed by Windward Management. Windward are an experienced Irish Management Company comprising of some of Ireland’s leading hotel professionals.

Over the last three years, the Anner Hotel has established itself as one of the county’s premier wedding venues with continued investment by new owners SCIF continuing to reaffirm the Anner Hotel as one of the most impressive wedding locations in the region.

The extensive wedding facilities at the Anner Hotel include a magnificent ballroom and banqueting facilities which can cater to large and small gatherings, beautifully landscaped private gardens ideal for capturing precious moments and a team of highly dedicated staff who will ensure every aspect of your special day is the “day of your dreams.”

The Four Star Anner hotel was awarded its prestigious rating from Failte Ireland after an extensive programme of improvements in 2016, making history to become the first ever Four Star hotel in the Cathedral town.

The hotel currently employs a workforce of 120 staff, thus becoming one of the largest local employers in the town.

Meet the Team

Aine Ryan - Food & Beverage Manager

Another addition to the Anner Hotel staff is Rossmore native Aine Ryan who took up her role as Food and Beverage Manager in March this year after relocating from Dublin after 11 years. While in Dublin, Aine worked with award winning Restaurant, Food Hall and Wine Shop Fallon & Byrne in an Events centered role.

She previously spent five years working with The Grand Hotel in Malahide working in a variety of roles including restaurant manager and as conference and banqueting manager. Aine has also worked with leading catering company Taste, helping to run events in the Mansion House, RDS, Bloom and large scale music festivals nationwide.

Aine was also part of the team helping to organise a State banquet at Dublin Castle for Queen Elizabeth the II's historic visit to Ireland. Aine graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology with a degree in Hospitality and Business and spent some time working in Australia in the hospitality sector. Aine is a past pupil of Doon Convent of Mercy.

Steven Ronan - Head Chef

One of the latest additions to the Anner team is renowned chef Steven Ronan who counts over 30 years of experience, including a role as Head Chef in Dundrum House Hotel.

After training in Fitzpatrick’s Castle in Dublin, Steven joined the famed Abbot Restaurant before spending time working in some of the top kitchens in Switzerland. After returning to Ireland in the late 1980’s, the Dublin born chef returned to Fitzpatrick’s before taking up a role with the Cashel Palace Hotel as a sous chef in 1988.

He then joined Dundrum House Hotel where he was appointed Head Chef in 1992 overseeing up to 100 weddings annually and providing top cuisine for up to 600 guests at a time.

As a keen promoter of Tipperary food producers and suppliers, Steven’s hands-on approach has earned him a reputation as one of the top chefs in the country.

Lily Forbes Foulger - Operations Manager

Cork born Lily Forbes Foulger brings over 30 years experience in the hospitality industry to her role as Operations Manager for the Anner Hotel.

Having joined the Anner team in 2015, Lily, now based in Terryglass, was a key component in overseeing the hotel being awarded a prestigious Four Stars from Fáilte Ireland in 2016 - the first such honour for a hotel in the town.

Since her training at Cathal Brugha Street in Dublin, Lily has worked across all aspects of the hospitality industry since starting her career with the Fitzpatrick Group in the mid 1980’s as well as overseeing the opening of the famed Shannon Oaks Hotel from a greenfield site.

As Operations Manager, Lily oversees all aspects of the day to day running of the Anner Hotel from the front of house, to the food service and functions hosted at the Anner.

Malachy Joe Gavin - Duty Manager

Recent graduate Malachy Joe Gavin joins the Anner team after working in top hotels in London and Europe. As a graduate of Shannon College of Hotel Management, Malachy was awarded a Bachelors of Commerce degree in International Hotel Management with accounting from NUIG.

To date in his career, Malachy has worked as part of the NH Hotel Group in Luxembourg as well as the Intercontinental Hotel in London where he worked as an Events Supervisor. As Duty Manager, Malachy works alongside his colleagues to maintain the smooth running of the hotel, overseeing the day to day running of the Anner’s Bistro restaurant and ensuring all guests have a relaxed and enjoyable visit.

The GAA and golfing fan is a native of Holycross and past pupil of the Cistercian College, Roscrea.

Thomas Tierney - Duty Manager

Templemore native Thomas Tierney has amassed over 15 years industry experience in the hospitality sector across a variety of roles. Thomas previously spent 10 years working with the Templemore Arms Hotel, gaining invaluable experience across different hotel departments, before relocating to Limerick to work with Sinnott’s Bar in Annacotty.

Thomas joined the Anner Hotel in 2014 and was quickly promoted to Duty Manager within six months.

In his role as Duty Manager, Thomas oversees the key aspects of all guests visits and is often viewed as the face of the hotel, greeting customers and ensuring their stay is as comfortable as possible. His easy going manner has made him an incredibly popular member of staff coupled with his passion for delivering excellent customer service.

Noel Mulhaire - General Manager

With over 30 years experience, General Manager Noel Mulhaire brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his role at the Anner Hotel following his appointment last year.

He began his impressive career as a demi chef du rang in Ireland’s first Michelin restaurant the Dunderry Lodge. Mr Mulhaire also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Hotel and Catering Management from Dublin Institute of Technology.

During his career, Mr Mulhaire acted as General Manager of the Lynch Clare Inn Hotel for ten years before he was appointed as Group Operations Manager of the Lynch Hotel Group in 2005.

In 2014, he was appointed as general manager of the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa before taking up a position as General Manager of the PREM Group. For the last five years, Mr Mulhaire has held the title role of resort manager for Ballykisteen Hotel and Dundrum House Hotel.

As a skilled manager of large teams, he has relished his latest appointment to the Anner Hotel, and says he is eager to encourage as much local talent in the hotel management team as possible.

Courtney Hyland - Sales & Marketing Manager

In just three short years, the Anner Hotels’ Sales & Marketing Manager Courtney Hyland has tripled the number of weddings ever hosted by the hotel, cementing the Anner as one of the most sought after Wedding Venues in Munster.

The Cashel native has worked within the Hotel Wedding industry for 15 years between Dublin & Limerick, up to her now current role in Thurles where, alongside event planning, she also co-ordinates the social media content and marketing for the hotel business.

Having studied PR at the Irish Academy of Public Relations, Courtney also holds a qualification in Digital Media from the Irish Hotel Federation and says she is eager to continue growing the expanding wedding business at the Anner sharing her expertise, advice and simply making dreams come true, ensuring that every wedding is delivered to the highest of standards.

For more information contact the Anner Hotel on 0504-21799 or see www.annerhotel.ie.