Saturday, 30 August 2014

Kilronan Castle Hotel – great boost for North Roscommon

Tony Conboy 


I visited Kilronan Castle Hotel recently and one has to be really impressed with the work which has been done in the restoration of the impressive remains of the former Tenison Castle. While the hotel is in its infancy and some work remains to be done the whole concept demonstrates immense potential and is a testament to the vision and initiative of the Hanly Group. 

  This vision will open North Roscommon and offer a facility to equal the best in the country. The spin-off potential, for the entire region, is enormous. The area offers a range of natural and developed attractions which can dovetail with Kilronan Castle to the mutual benefit of all. The Castle is, in a sense, twinned with the other similar Hanly Group development in the region, Lough Rynn House near Mohill in County Leitrim. There the Nick Faldo designed golf course is to become a prime attraction when it comes on-stream.

  I was given an account of present developments at Kironan by an enthusiastic and informed ‘Sales and Marketing’ Manager, Olivia O’Regan, herself from the prime tourist location of County Kerry. She emphasised their commitment to value and quality here. 

Grand Ballroom

  Kilronan Castle Hotel will have a range of restaurants for all tastes. A number of these are now open and were at capacity on Mother’s Day, March 2nd. These are currently open from Friday evening at 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. through the weekend at present. Currently there are an initial number of bedrooms available and this number will continue to expand as the year progresses. The facility will also include the de rigeur leisure elements such as swimming pool, spa and gym. 

  The ‘Grand Ballroom’ will have a capacity for 320 in a banqueting situation and 400 for conferences. It is an ideal location, set in a most scenic area, as a wedding venue and it has already has a strong booking for the later part of ’08 and especially ’09.  

  An interesting offshoot of this, I learned, was the booking of Keadue Church by couples from outside the region with the reception in the ‘Castle’. I am sure this will extend to local B.& B.s’ as happens in Ballyconnell adjacent to the Slieve Russell Hotel. 

  Olivia recognises the support and good wishes of the local community and hopes to be able to co-operate with the likes of the O’Carolan Festival and the World Rally Championships. 

  The expectation is to tap into the U.K. and American markets in due course. One has to be impressed by the sense of commitment by an indigenous Roscommon company to this huge project and the lengths that is being gone to in terms of detail and quality. 

  Nick Faldo, who designed the golf course at Lough Rynn, has been retained to develop the course here also and Diarmuid Gavin has been given the task of redesigning the gardens. 

  When speaking of it to Paraic Noone, one of the guiding lights of Keadue Tidy Towns and the O’Carolan Festival Committees, he expressed his delight at the development and said that “The Hanly family deserve enormous praise for their initiative. There were a number of false dawns with the Castle but now it has happened and it will be absolutely great for the area”. 

  Hopefully the many facilities and attractions in the whole region of North Roscommon will interplay and co-operate for eachother’s benefit. While I expect to return to this subject from time to time I can only encourage people to see for themselves the beginning of what will be a marvellous regional facility for the area.