VERY IRISH EVENING ENTERTAINMENT IN KILLARNEY
It would have been a serious omission not to give the Killarney Conference participants the chance to enjoy an evening of Irish entertainment in a pub, and sure enough the organisers even devoted two evenings to such pleasures, despite the logistical problems of finding room for more than 600 people in the pubs up and down the town.
And so with obvious delight the guests took in and savoured the famous Irish atmosphere, relishing this opportunity to strike up friendships in the pubs, where the local regulars were somewhat surprised by this large-scale invasion of Europeans!
Fįilte Ireland had wanted to invite the Conference VIPs to a dinner at the Aghadoe Heights hotel to the north of Killarney perched on a promontory overlooking the beautiful lakes. This was a superb venue for a very pleasant evening, where we were formally welcomed by Kevin Moriarty, head of professional development as well as one of the main organisers of the Conference. He said how pleased he was to welcome the AEHT representatives as well as those who had played an important role in organising the event. He applauded the spirit and philosophy of the AEHT, then introduced Dame Geraldine Keagan, one of the following day’s speakers. Needless to say, the dishes served that night did justice to the hotel’s reputation!
The City of Killarney and its Mayor Sheila Casey also wished to entertain the national representatives of all the countries sending delegations to the Conference. The reception took place in one of the private rooms at the International Hotel in the town centre.
Wine was served, and the Mayor, herself a hotelier, flanked by her deputies and close colleagues, expressed her pleasure at welcoming so many distinguished people. She reminded us of the importance of tourism, not only for the region but also for the whole of Ireland. She wished us all a pleasant stay in Ireland, adding how proud she was to be Irish.
Alfonso Benvenuto, still AEHT president for a few more hours, thanked her for her invitation and said how honoured the great AEHT family was by this civic reception and by Killarney’s hospitality. And following a Killarney tradition the Mayor presented the Presidium members with a gift – ties for the men and scarves for the women, both bearing the town’s crest. Finally the guests signed the visitors’ book to mark the AEHT’s visit to the town.