The Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI) recognised the contribution that individuals make to the hospitality profession at their annual Founders Banquet in Dublin last Thursday.

Kenmare native Keara O’Brien and Operations Manager at Parknasilla Resort and Spa swooped the Institute’s Graduate of the Year Award. Keara was nominated by her college the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) where she studied for her Degree in Hotel Management and was up against stellar competition from representatives from all the hotel training colleges in Ireland.
Mary Rose Stafford, Head of the School of Business, Computing & Humanities at Institute of Technology Tralee says “Keara is a deserving winner, her passion for the industry and her commitment to her own academic development whilst working full time is to be commended”

Earlier in the year O’Brien won the Irish Hotel Federation (IHF) Kerry Branch student of the year in the non academic category and followed this with IHF Kerry academic award for the highest performing student.

Tony Daly, Managing Director of Parknasilla added “Keara is an inspiration to all aspiring and motivated young hotel professionals. The academic programmes offered by the Tralee Institute present a great opportunity for young people in the hospitality sector to further their education, as in Keara’s case, she achieved the ultimate reward, a Degree in Hotel Management whilst in full-time employment. We are very proud of Keara’s achievements and we extend our huge congratulations to her. She has a bright career ahead of her.”