Four Mullingar businesses win hospitality awards

The team at Gilleran’s Bar who won Best Pub of the Year at the Midlands 103 Hospitality Awards.

Winners also at Tyrrellspass and Kinnegad

More than 300 people celebrated the return of Midlands 103’s Hospitality Awards at a lavish event in Portlaoise on Monday evening.

Celebrations at the Midlands Park Hotel recognized those working in the hospitality sector in Laois, Offaly and Westmeath, with over 10,000 votes counted to create the shortlist.

The businesses were then visited by an independent jury, which included Michelin-starred restaurateur Sallyanne Clarke and Tim Husbands, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse.

The judges spent several days traveling the region’s rural roads to find this year’s 51 winners in five categories.

Big winners from Mullingar’s night included pub of the year Gilleran’s Bar; Annebrook House Hotel won Best Boutique Hotel; and Danny Byrne wins Best Sports Bar.

Meanwhile, in the tourism sector, the award for Overall Tourist Attraction of the Year went to Mollie Moo’s Pet Farm, Mullingar.

The overall award for Tourist Attraction of the Year went to Mollie Moo’s Pet Farm, Mullingar.

The best fine dining restaurant went to Browne’s on the Green in Tyrrellspass; while Trevor Byrne, Scanlon’s Bar and Restaurant, Kinnegad was voted Best Restaurant Manager.

Wineport Lodge in Athlone won Restaurant of the Year, while Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone was recognized as Best Family Hotel.

The best fine dining restaurant went to Browne’s on the Green in Tyrrellspass.

The Killeshin in Portlaoise has been crowned Hotel of the Year, while the Laois is home to Chef of the Year, Bernard Rochford of the Midlands Park Hotel having been given the nod. The pantry has reclaimed its title of best coffee and the county is also home to country bar of the year, Hogan’s Bar, Coolrain.

In Birr, staff at the County Arms Hotel were celebrated for providing the best customer service in the area, while Hushabye Alpaca Farm, Killeigh, won the title of best guest house or B&B. Browne’s – The Venue in Tullamore had stiff competition for the best new establishment.

Danny Byrne’s team that won Best Sports Bar.

A new award has been added to this year’s event in remembrance of Albert Fitzgerald of Midlands 103, who died in August. His son Stephen presented the Albert Award for Global Marketing/Salesperson of the Year to Donal O’Gorman, Managing Director, The Bog Road, Kilminchy.

Sallyanne Clarke said: “I am delighted to be on the jury for this year’s Midlands Hospitality Awards. There are so many hotels, restaurants and pubs doing a wonderful job despite the shortage of staff in our industry. These awards show not only resilience in the current economic climate, but their innovation and constant effort to be the best they can be. I take my hat off to all the nominees. Everyone is a winner in my opinion.

Liam, Mary and their son Billy Gilleran pictured at the event holding the Pub of the Year award.

Here is the full list of winners:

The annual event is presented by Midlands 103 in conjunction with Laois and Offaly County Councils and various business partners. Managing Director Will Faulkner congratulates all of the companies that participated.

“These awards primarily reflect the perspective of listeners and customers, as no one makes the shortlist without their support. All of the nominees are therefore among the best of the best and we are delighted to be hosting a showcase celebration that gives them a well-deserved pat on the back in these trying times,” he said.

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