Above: Cathal Nugent (second from left) with Ballygarry House colleagues.

Tralee’s Ballygarry House bid farewell to a long-serving member of staff this week as Cathal Nugent retired from his post as Deputy General Manager.

Originally from Tyrone, Cathal moved to the Southwest in the 1970s to work in Innishannon in Cork, before taking up a position with The Brandon Hotel in Kerry for many years. Before moving to Ballygarry House in 1988 to work with Owen McGillicuddy, he ran his own business – The Rose Tavern – on Castle Street, a favourite with the locals.

Supported by his wife and four children, Cathal spent three decades with Ballygarry House, and his three daughters Sinead, Grainne and Lisa all worked for their father during that time.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Cathal for 30 years. We grew together through the years and he trained me when I was a young trainee. He has left a legacy of hard work and customer focus which is engrained in us all from his years of mentoring the team,” said Padraig McGillicuddy, General Manager and a third-generation hotelier. “He is a proud person, loyal, solid, and dependable and a true gentleman who always did what was right for the hotel. He was loved by the staff and customers alike and his love of Tyrone GAA was always one he threw in the face of us Kerry folk on a bad September. He had a fantastic sense of humour and a warm smile all day every day.”