Talented Parknasilla Resort and Spa employee Keara O’Brien has been named Graduate of the Year by the Irish Hospitality Institute. The Kenmare native, who was nominated by her college, IT Tralee, was honoured at the IHI’s annual Founders’ Banquet in Dublin last week.

Earlier this year, Keara was named Student of the Year by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) and she also picked up the IHF Kerry Academic Award for Highest Performing Student.

“Keara is a deserving winner,” said Mary Rose Stafford, Head of the School of Business, Computing and Humanities at Institute of Technology Tralee. “Her passion for the industry and her commitment to her own academic development whilst working full-time is to be commended.”

Tony Daly, Managing Director of Parknasilla, said that Keara is an inspiration to all aspiring young hotel professionals.

“The academic programmes offered by the Tralee Institute present a great opportunity for young people in the hospitality sector to further their education,” Tony said. “In Keara’s case, she achieved the ultimate reward, a degree in Hotel Management whilst in full-time employment. We are very proud of Keara’s achievements and we extend our huge congratulations to her. She has a bright career ahead of her.”

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