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Lough Eske Castle celebrate 15 years open!

15 years ago, Lough Eske Castle opened its doors to guests after an extensive restoration project by Donegal man Pat Doherty OBE and Harcourt Developments.

After years of private ownership and operating as a guest house, Lough Eske Castle was damaged by a fire in the 1930’s, leaving the property in ruins for over 60 years. After €40 million investment and renovations, the Hotel opened its doors in 2007 as the 5 star hotel we know today.

Last night invited guests enjoyed the celebrations with a drinks reception, canapés, refreshments and entertainment.

The main man, Pat Doherty was present along with his sons Henry and John Paul, as well as Clement Gaffney, Director of Operations, Harcourt Developments.

The team at Lough Eske Castle pulled out all the stops to ensure all the guests were looked after.

Special Guest,  Packie Bonner said a few words saying he was delighted to be at the big event saying it was the people who brings it all together. He gave a special mention to Sinead McGowan, Sales & Marketing Manager and complimented all the team. He wished them well and prosperity for the future.

The General Manager Donal Cox welcomed one and all. They planted 15 oak trees earlier that day, one for every year the hotel was open. The hotel employ 207 staff members and continue to focus on serving and using local suppliers to give back to the local community.

Donal said ‘Today we have saw significant reinvestment in the property and this is also been the cornerstone of our success in the first 15 years. We have redeveloped different aspects of the property, Father Browne bar was opened in 2019, we have extended Cedars restaurant in 2020 offering additional 80 covers for our guests, and the refurbishment and upgrade of our guest rooms which was completed this year. We have exciting new projects for next year and the journey carries on.

We are also adding an outdoor hot tub experience to our Cara Organic Beauty Spa. Planning application has been lodged to Donegal County Council for a further  28 new bedrooms, 26 will be junior suites increasing our bedrooms from 97 to 125. It is all a very positive message but the success of the hotel is accredited to the support from Pat and the Harcourt and the commitment and loyalty of the staff’ he concluded.

The party ended up downstairs in Father Browne’s bar where Barry Sweeney and Sean Gibbons entertained the guests until the early hours. Here’s to the next 15 years!

Lough Eske Castle then and now.
Bill Collins, Central Hotel, Lisa O Connor, Director of Sales & Marketing Harcourt Group, Elaine McInaw, Abbey Hotel and Donal Cox GM Lough Eske Castle.
Sinead McGowan, Sales & Marketing Manager, Bridgeen McLoone, Regional Financial Controller, Henry Doherty, Clement Gaffney, Director of Operations, Harcourt and Lisa O Connor, Director Sales & Marketing, Harcourt Group.
Breda Bonner, GM Central Hotel, Patricia and Elaine, Abbey Hotel.
John Paul and Breda Doherty with Sinead McGowan, Sales & Marketing Manager, Lough Eske Castle.
Packie Bonner with James and Moira Doherty from Sliabh Liag Distillers.
Magee of Donegal well reresented, Rosie, Lynn, Pat Doherty and Patrick Temple.
Pat Doherty with his sons John Paul and Henry at the 15th anniversary celebrations.

Paddy Kelly, Mayor Pauric Kennedy and Guest speaker Packie Bonner.
Packie, myself and the Mayor!
The main man Pat Doherty with cousin Sinead.
Lisa O Connor in deep conversation with Pat Doherty.
Donal Cox, Lisa O Connor, Pat Doherty and Bridgeen McLoone.
Mayor Pauric Kennedy, Pat Doherty and Stephen Bell, Leisure Sales Manager, Lough Eske Castle.
Some boy……..Clement Gaffney and myself.
Aisling McGeever and Marion Molloy looking well.
Clenent Gaffney, Greg Hughes and Sinead McGowan.
Sinead, Deirdre, Paddy and Siobhan from the Donegal Democrat.

The Aira String Quartet provided the lovely music last night.
Paul and Mary Kennedy from the Harbour Restaurant with Lisa O Connor from Lough Eske Castle.
Packie Bonner with Bridget and Brian McCracken, Manager of the Letterkenny Shopping Centre.
A selfie with Breda GM Central Hotel!

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