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When you book your place on our Certificate in Hotel Leadership, (in partnership with Shannon College of Hotel Management), you will get to have dinner and conversation with the following very interesting people:

bobby kerrBobby Kerr is an Irish entrepreneur and businessman. As chairman of Insomnia Coffee Company he has led Insomnia to become Ireland’s largest coffee house chain over a 16 year period. He presents ‘Down to Business’ a Saturday Business Breakfast show on Newstalk and was a founding ‘Dragon’ on RTE’s Dragons’ Den. Featured on the show from 2008 to 2012 Bobby is still involved with 8 of his investments. He also presents “Along Home Shores” an 8 part maritime documentary for UTV TV which captures the beauty of the waterways and coastlines of Ireland through a prism of business, culture and sport.

Bobby is one of the owners of BANG Restaurant which has carved out a reputation as one of the finest restaurants in Dublin City. He has a variety of business interests in food & hospitality, technology, manufacturing and retail. Bobby is also a popular public speaker and business mentor.

Bobby lives by the sea in Sandycove, just outside Dublin City, with his wife Mary and their four daughters. He is actively involved in raising money for a number of Charities, including Habitat for Humanity, The Special Olympics and Fairtrade. Bobby is also actively involved in raising money for Blackrock Hospice. He has raised over €100k for the hospice in the last number of years. Bobby has been a keen yachtsman for the last 25 years and races competitively in Dun Laoghaire. He completed a challenging Round Ireland yacht race in 2014 where the boat came first in its class and 3rd overall of the 36 entry’s.

More recently Bobby raised in excess of €40,000 working with Habitat for Humanity. In April 2011 he lead a team of 10 business people on a house building expedition in Zambia alongside local builders.


Mick Dowling

Michael "Mick" Dowling (born 17 December 1946) is an Irish former international boxer and current boxing commentator and analyst. He hails from Castlecomer, County Kilkenny.

Mick boxed internationally for Ireland fifty times including at the 1968 Mexico and 1972 Munich Olympic Games. He boxed in the bantamweight (54 kg) division. In the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, Dowling was beaten for the bronze medal by Cuba's Orlando Martínez in the quarter-finals. Dowling holds two European Bronze Medals (from 1969 and 1971) and still holds the record for eight consecutive National Elite titles in the same weight division. He has nine national titles in total from the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.

Mick Dowling is now one of Ireland’s best-known boxing coaches having served as a member of the National Coaching Committee for ten years. He is currently senior coach of the Mount Tallant Boxing Club and Institute of Technology, Tallaght's Boxing Squad. He has also trained the Leinster Rugby squad in the art of Boxing Conditioning.

A well-known boxing commentator and fight analyst, he works primarily with RTÉ Sport in their coverage of Irish amateur boxing including the IABA National Championships, European Amateur Boxing Championships, World Amateur Boxing Championships and the Olympic Games.
He owns and runs "Mick Dowling Sportsworld", a sports shop in Terenure, Dublin.

His son Mark Dowling is also a professional sportsman - a cyclist and Mick's daughter Lisa runs a fitness centre in Dublin, where her father provides coaching.


pat mcdonage

Pat McDonagh is the founder and Managing Director of Ireland’s most successful indigenous quick service restaurant group, Supermac’s. Pat started his career as a teacher and, having always had an interest in business, decided to explore this further by opening his first restaurant outlet in Ballinasloe in 1978. Having played a lot of sport in secondary school, he earned his nickname during a Gaelic Football match when one of the supporters on the side line christened him, “Supermac”. This then became the natural choice of name for his business, “Supermac’s”.

Supermac’s currently operates 105 restaurants throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland, including the now famous Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall, Co Offaly. The company employs over 2,700 people nationally and has helped to establish 44 self-employed franchisees in their own successful businesses.

2012 saw Pat further expand his business reach, through their purchase of the Castletroy Park Hotel which has become hugely successful. Since 2012, Pat has also purchased the Loughrea Hotel and Spa, Loughrea, Co. Galway, the Charleville Park Hotel in Co. Cork and the Killeshin Hotel in Co. Laois.

Pat is a keen sports fan, having a particular interest in GAA. This love of sport has seen Supermac’s sponsor many sports teams including Galway Senior Hurling and Football Teams, Connacht Rugby, Galway Ladies Football & Camogie Teams, the Irish Rowing Squad and local sports clubs around Ireland. Pat is also a strong supporter of charities and of the Arts in Ireland.




Philippe Leboeuf - One of luxury hospitality's foremost figures in France and Europe. Philippe is General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Paris, the hotel group's first destination in France, and Area Vice President, Operations.

He is responsible for positioning Mandarin Oriental, Paris as one of the city's pre-eminent luxury hotels, showcasing the best in French design and Parisian flair combined with Mandarin Oriental's renowned levels of award-winning service. Since September 2013, Philippe Leboeuf has been in charge of the development of Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech (Morocco) and the management of the local team until the opening in October 2015.

Philippe Leboeuf has over 25 years of senior management experience in the luxury hotel industry and has worked in the world's most important locations. He joins Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group from Claridge's in London where he held the position of General Manager since 2007.

From 1995 to 2001, he was Managing Director of the Crillon Hotel in Paris, and then became Executive Vice President of the Concorde Hotels Group. In 2004 he was appointed Executive Vice President of Louvre Hotels with responsibility for operations, sales, marketing and development. In 2006, Philippe Leboeuf moved to Dallas as Vice President, Operations for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. He was also a Board Director of The Leading Hotels of the World organisation from 1999 to 2006.

Philippe Leboeuf likes to describe himself as a self-made man who has gained his experience in the field, although this would be forgetting that he is also a graduate of Cornell University and holds a degree in finance and strategy from HEC management school in Paris. He is fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish. He sits as the President of the children and women's cancer charity board, A Chacun son Everest! and has been nominated as administrator at Medef Paris (Movement of the Enterprises of France). In July 2014, he is awarded ‘Knight of the Legion of Honour’. He enjoys exploring Paris, one of his favourite cities, by bicycle or on foot with Archie, his border terrier.

He is determined that Mandarin Oriental, Paris is renowned as an epitome of a passion for service, which he considers to be the very essence of hospitality.


john mch

John McHale is Established Professor of Economics and Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy, and Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has served as Chairman of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council since July 2011. He has previously held positions as Assistant Professor of Economics and Associate Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and as Associate Professor of Managerial Economics and Toller Family Research Fellow at the Queen’s University, Ontario.

Professor McHale holds Ph.D and A.M degrees from Harvard University, and first-class B.Comm. (1988) and M.Econ.Sc. (1990) degrees from the National University of Ireland.

Professor McHale has been a consultant to the World Bank on various migration and development projects. He previously served as Director of the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change at NUI Galway. He has also served as an independent member of the National Economic and Social Council and of the Pensions Board. He is currently President of the Irish Economic Association and an associate editor of the Economic and Social Review.


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