Sonia is ‘Employee of the Year’

Sonia Smith, Receptionist at Cahernane House, Killarney, has been named the Irish Hotels Federation “National Employee of the Year”. Now in its sixth year, the award celebrates and recognises the hotel team member who has made an outstanding contribution to their workplace. Denyse Campbell, President of the IHF, presented Sonia with her award at the IHF’s Annual Conference in Killarney.

The Rising Star Award was presented to Alana Murphy from the Four Seasons Hotel, Carlingford, County Louth.

Congratulating Ms Smith and the other 11 nominees shortlisted for the award, paying tribute to the high calibre of people working within the sector, Denyse said: “This award truly showcases the immense talent and dedication shown by hotel and guesthouse teams right throughout the country.”

In 2018 Sonia joined the accommodation department of Cahernane House after completing her Leaving Certificate. She quickly showed aptitude and ability and soon moved to reception in 2019, where she was promoted to Reception Supervisor in 2022. She is described by colleagues as “an amazing leader and team player”.

Members of the Irish Hotels Federation could nominate a candidate who consistently shows outstanding hospitality from their hotel/guesthouse to go forward for their regional branch award.

The shortlisted nominees for the award included:

Kayleigh Keenan, Ballyfin Demesne; Jennifer McMurchie, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel; Oana Cristian, Roganstown Hotel & Country Club; Cliona Wrenne, Carrigaline Court Hotel; Josephine Flynn, Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Sligo; Dannielle McGrath, Talbot Hotel Carlow; Alana Murphy, Four Seasons Hotel, Spa & Leisure Club; Annemarie Woods, Arnolds Hotel; Maciej Smyk, Woodenbridge Hotel; Noreen Monaghan, Knock House Hotel; and Marie McGrath, Skeffington Arms Hotel.

The national award was adjudicated by an independent panel of judges, chaired by Dr Donagh Davern of Munster Technological University.