Jackie O’Sullivan (b. 1940)
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Jackie O’Sullivan (b. 1940)


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Track 1: Jackie O’Sullivan grew up in Ballycasheen, Killarney. He describes the working life of his grandfather, John O’Shea, in Killarney and his own family background. Jackie worked at the International Hotel in Killarney before starting at the Great Southern Hotel in 1957. Track 2: He worked as a pageboy at the hotel in the beginning, and he recalls the staff at the hotel, their living quarters, the tradition in families of employment in the hotel, the furniture and fittings in the hotel and recreation in those days. The old gates at the entrance to the hotel at the International Hotel side and the Franciscan Friary side are remembered, as is Jackie’s duty as Night Porter to lock those gates at night, and to endure abuse from local people who were discommoded as a result. Track 3: He recalls the revamp of the hotel in 1958 when additional bedrooms were built, and he also mentions Liam Ryan, the manager at that time. He remembers meeting guests at the nearby railway station and escorting them to the hotel in earlier days and the generous tips which he would receive. Track 4: The arrival of bus tours at the hotel in the 1970s are discussed. Jackie also explains that he sat on the board, as a union representative, of the Great Southern Hotel Group for five years prior to his retirement in 2001. He recalls Éamon de Valera’s visits to the hotel over many years, and he explains that Todd Andrews was another guest who regularly stayed there. He also relates an anecdote in connection with Todd Andrews and his promotion of the use of turf at the hotel. Track 5: His membership of SIPTU is discussed, as are the turbulent times endured by the Great Southern Hotel Group prior to its sale. He reverts in memory to a time in 1959 when the water supply to Killarney town was problematical and he explains the stages which were gone through to rectify the situation.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Kerry Hospitality Industry


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

9.40 MB, 16.45 MB, 17.90 MB, 7.74 MB, 11.60 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Great Southern Hotels, Parknasilla and Galway

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore