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A Radio Road Trip!

Deirdre’s Diary

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Charity Cycle 2018

Life has been a stimulating road trip these past couple of weeks, from cycling the Great Western Greenway, galloping across Bethra beach in Westport to attending the annual ACORNS Forum in Mullingar. All of which culminated with a trip to Donnybrook Dublin 4 and my first ever live national radio interview with RTE Radio 1 on ‘The Business’ with Richard Curran.

HOSPITALITY CYCLE 2018 IN AID OF BARRETSTOWN

Cycling the Great Western Greenway with a group of hospitality colleagues was fun, and galloping across Bethra beach at Westport was breathtaking, all of which increased the adrenaline for  attending the annual ACORNS Forum in Mullingar.

It was on the drive home from Mullingar that I received a call from our PR guru, Noreen D’Arcy to ask me would I travel to Dublin two days later for a pre-recorded interview with Richard Curran on the Saturday Business show. Having been absent from home and the hotel for a few days, I decided it was best to get back to day to day business and therefore told her that I would be unavailable for the interview. However, a second request came for me to do the interview live (no pressure 🙂 on Saturday morning. As I needed to be in Dublin on Saturday for the Donegal Person of the Year Awards, I said a big Yes and the radio road trip began!

MY RADIO ADVENTURE

I took the 4am bus from Donegal to Dublin and as dawn began to break, I had a lovely feeling of adventure. The sun shone as I walked through the grounds of Montrose. I felt surprisingly calm. Following a warm welcome from programme researcher, Eoghan Mc Laughlin, I sat outside the studio waiting for my slot just after 10am. Meanwhile I had the pleasure of listening to the RTE National Orchestra rehearsing in a studio nearby. The sound was memorising. The red light of the studio was on and it was time for me to go live. I had seen Richard Curran on Dragon’s Den and for a brief moment, I was worried that he might grill me on business matters that I might feel unable to answer. I’m not really a facts and figures person. And then I wondered would he ask me about what I call ‘Boring Brexit’. It’s not that I couldn’t have a conversation about these subjects and of course I know how important they are, it’s simply that they don’t excite me and I know there are many others better placed to comment on such matters.

“Harvey’s Point – Our Story”

I needn’t have had any concerns. The interview with Richard was a most pleasant conversation, almost a fireside chat despite the big desk between us, the huge black microphone, the producer and team watching from the next room. I really enjoyed our chat. Richard asked me about the history of Harvey’s Point and how romance and love was a big part of our story. It still surprises me the interest and curiosity there is in the story of that ‘summer job’ in 1989 which was the beginning of my career in the hospitality industry. How lucky I am to  be doing a job that I love, in a place that I love and with people whom I love!

Richard made an interesting comment in relation to the new term ‘over tourism’. He is correct in saying that Ireland is on the cusp of something really big in terms of growing numbers of overseas visitors. It is so important that we take a strategic approach and manage our infrastructure in line with anticipated growth.

Radio Road Trip

ACORNS Leads – Annual Forum, Mullingar

DONEGAL – “COOLEST PLACE ON THE PLANET”

We discussed how brand Donegal has emerged over recent years, being officially named ‘The Coolest Place on the Planet’ by National Geographic. The Wild Atlantic way has become a great marketing hook that is connecting the counties on the Western Seaboard from Donegal to Cork. It has really helped to address the issue of seasonality in our industry. People from all over the island of Ireland are enjoying the Wild Atlantic Way experience throughout the year. In addition, overseas visitors are seeing the northern half of Ireland as a new and exciting destination.

DONEGAL – “OPEN FOR BUSINESS”

My message is that Donegal is very much open for business all year round and that there is so much to see and do in our beautiful region. No longer ‘the forgotten county’, the people of Donegal are standing proud and working together collaboratively and creatively to ensure that Donegal meets its full potential as a world-class visitor destination on the Wild Atlantic Way.

FLOATING ON AIR

The interview ended and I sort of ‘floated’ out of the studio, feeling happy and delighted. I would like to thank RTE Radio 1 and especially Eoghan and Richard for making me feel welcome and for the opportunity to tell my story. As we approach our special milestone of thirty years of happy hotel-keeping at Harvey’s Point next year, I hope that they invite me back sometime to tell the next chapter 🙂

Deirdre McGlone

May 2018

Deirdre McGlone
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