Liberator theme on Skal President’s big night
Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style at the Killarney Plaza Hotel on Saturday night for the Skal President’s Dinner which is social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations.
The gala event was hosted by Kerry Skal President Michelle Rosney and the attendance included Fáilte Ireland chairperson Paul Carty, Skal Ireland president Margaret Cahill, Skal Ireland treasurer Francis Brennan, lifelong Skal member Dermot Cronin of Cork, Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher, MEP Seán Kelly, Kerry College and ETB Chairman Cllr Jim Finucane, Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation chairperson Bernadette Randles and Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne.
Skal is the largest international hospitality networking organisation in the world with 13,000 members in 308 clubs in almost 90 countries. In addition to Kerry, there are clubs in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Northern Ireland.
There were special performances on the night by singers and dancers from St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School, Killarney and the West End House School of Arts who brought The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, back to life – for one night only – to deliver a passionate dramatisation of a famous speech.
There was a Killarney theme also in the cuisine served for the Kerry Skal President’s dinner with produce from the Killarney Urban Farm project on East Avenue Road where the focus is on sustainability and the tipple of choice for the traditional President’s after dinner toast was Liberator whiskey supplied by Maurice and Francesca O’Connell of Wayward Irish Spirits based in Fossa, Killarney.
Guests dined on starters of cod graviax with baked oyster and seaweed prawn cocktail, confit of duck leg and seared duck breast with candied pecans or an urban farm salad followed by mussel and orange saffron soup or blue cheese and tender stem broccoli soup and a main course choice of braised short rib of beef or halibut.
On display on the night were the All-Ireland junior and intermediate trophies recently won by Fossa and Rathmore respectively and although the Sam Maguire was unavoidably absent, Kerry Skal President Michelle Rosney promised guests that, all going according to plan, Sam would be on display in 2024, 2025 and 2026.