Cecily Gallagher (née Huggard) (b. 1922) (part 1)
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Cecily Gallagher (née Huggard) (b. 1922) (part 1)


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Track 1: Cecily Gallagher explains that she was born on the fateful day on which the old RIC Barracks in Waterville was blown up. She grew up at the Butler Arms Hotel, run by her parents, Martin and Mary Huggard. She recalls her early memories of the 1930s, members of the religious orders who would regularly stay at the hotel, the British guests and also some permanent guests at the hotel at this time, the ghillies who would collect the lunch baskets for the guests in the mornings and the musical recitals at the hotel in the evenings. Track 2: She explains that her mother Mary trained in the hotel business at Benner’s Hotel in Tralee, and she also fondly recalls some of the permanent guests at the Butler Arms Hotel, including Mrs Crosbie of the Cork Examiner newspaper family, a retired British colonel and some others. She discusses her parents’ investment in other hotels, including the Royal Hotel in Valentia, the Caragh Lake Hotel and also Ashford Castle Hotel in Co. Mayo in 1939 and the Lake Hotel, Killarney, in 1940. She recalls suppliers to the Butler Arms Hotel, the facilities available to guests there, along with the visit of Walt Disney and the many visits to the Butler Arms Hotel of Charlie Chaplin and his family. Track 3: The family life of the Huggards at the Butler Arms Hotel is discussed. The trip made by guests from Killarney railway station to the hotel in Waterville by hackney cars is described. The manageress at the Caragh Lake Hotel, Miss Bradshaw, is also recalled. Track 4: Day trippers to the Butler Arms and the great characters who stayed there for extended periods, the hot-water bottles placed in the beds at night, the stoking of the fires and the polishing of the guests’ shoes each night are all fondly remembered. Visits with her father to the Royal Hotel in Valentia are also recalled. Track 5: Salmon fishing by hotel guests on the weir, which was owned by Major Butler, is recalled and lake fishing on Lough Gurrane is also discussed. The ghillies who organised the fishing are also mentioned. The years of WWII in the hotel are remembered and she explains that the family hotels: the Royal Hotel in Valentia, Caragh Lake Hotel, the Lake Hotel in Killarney and the Butler Arms Hotel in Waterville did good business at this time. The purchase of Ashford Castle by her brother, Noel Huggard, is discussed. She explains that her mother, Mary Huggard, was a great businesswoman who was very much involved with the running of the hotel, while her father, Martin, remained a strong figure in the background. Track 6: Cecily Huggard married Dr John Gallagher who was stationed at The Curragh at that time. The couple later moved to Tralee where he started his own medical practice at Day Place, Tralee.

Additional information



Audio series:

The Kerry Hospitality Industry


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

9.92 MB, 9.10 MB, 8.97 MB

Number of files:


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Butler Arms Hotel, Waterville; The Royal Hotel, Valentia; The Lake Hotel, Killarney; Caragh Lake Hotel; Ashford Castle Hotel, Co. Mayo

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore