Ashford Castle GM Rory Murphy retires
One of Ireland's top hoteliers, Rory Murphy, has retired after 29 years in charge of the five-star Ashford Castle hotel in County Mayo, the past 13 as managing director.
His most memorable experience, he said, was when Ronald Reagan, then US president, stayed at the Castle with his wife, Nancy, during their visit to Ireland in the 1980s.
He said: "For months in advance it was a logistical nightmare. We had half the FBI and CIA staking out the place for what seemed like ages. Even the islands on Lough Corrib appeared to be moving, there were so many secret servicemen checking them out."
Now that he can finally put his feet up, Murphy and his wife, Patsy, plan to stay in the west of Ireland.
Murphy's replacement at the Castle is Niall Rochford, who has taken over as general manager.
He was deputy general manager at Ashford's five-star sister hotel, Dromoland Castle, in County Clare.
by Anthony Garvey