Killarney hotel owner receives local honours

Last month a leading Killarney hotel owner and industrialist, Dr Isolde Liebherr, formally received the gratitude of the local Killarney business community for her company’s valuable contribution to the local economy. Dr Liebherr was inducted into the Order of Innisfallen which recognises individuals who make a unique contribution to the Killarney area. She was a also a special guest of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation at its annual ball in the Europe Hotel where she was presented with a portrait by Dublin artist Paul Kelly that was commissioned by the local Killarney business community.

Dr Liebherr is vice-president of the Liebherr Group, a German company that owns three hotels in the Killarney area that together employ some 275 people. Liebherr’s Irish hotel operation, Killarney Hotels Ltd, owns the five star Europe Hotel & Resort as well as The Dunloe and Ard na Sidhe Country House.

The induction event was held in Muckross House, and during her acceptance speech, Dr Liebherr spoke of her family’s love of Killarney and how she had learned about tourism whilst working alongside local people in the Europe Hotel. “I studied closely the way tourism workers here entertained and catered for tourists from all over the world,” said Dr Liebherr. “They have natural friendliness and hospitality. Some have worked in our hotels for more than 40 years.”

Apart from its Killarney hotels, the Liebherr Group has a container crane factory in the town that employs some 630 people. Speaking at the ceremony in Muckross House, the mayor of Killarney, Sean O’Grady, said that the tremendous debt of gratitude owned to the Liebherr companies could never be fully appreciated by honours alone.

Earlier in 2012 Dr Liebherr was conferred with an honorary doctorate from University College Cork and given the freedom of Killarney.