Viewmount House, Longford owners James and Beryl Kearney, and Head Chef Gary O’Hanlon, are celebrating today after they were named winners of the Georgina Campbell Hospitality Hero Award.
The announcement came during the gala Georgina Campbell presentation award ceremony in Bord Bia’s new Thinking House, in Dublin this morning.
Gary O'Hanlon posted on Facebook, "Thrilled to announce that James, Beryl & I are this year's recipients of the Georgina Campbell Award for services to Irish Hospitality. Absolutely thrilled."
In the winning citation, hospitality sector guide book author Georgina Campbell credits the Kearneys and Gary O'Hanlon for transforming the perception of Longford.
"If ever there was an example of how the actions of just a few individuals can make a big difference, this is it. Almost singlehandedly, it seems, the Kearneys and Gary O’Hanlon have transformed the popular perception of Longford - and indeed of Ireland’s midlands. A remarkable feat, and one that has a hugely beneficial ripple effect throughout the region."
The citation also reads; "Having quietly restored their lovely Longford property Viewmount House, and created its beautiful gardens over two decades, James and Beryl Kearney, opened VM Restaurant with Head Chef Gary O’Hanlon in 2008 - and took the midlands by storm, quickly making Longford a must-visit destination for food lovers.
"Now one of the family and a household name thanks to his determination to take every possible opportunity to promote VM and the food of the locality, Gary is from Donegal - proud source of most of his fresh fish - and has greatly helped this Blue Book property to become not just a special place to stay, but a wonderful introduction to an area that deserves to be better known."
The Hospitality Hero Award is the fourth Georgina Campbell accolade that has gone the way of Viewmount House - previous awards included 2012 Sunday Lunch of the Year; 2014 Restaurant of the Year and 2017 Country House of the Year.
You may also be interested in reading: Taste of the Lakelands Food Festival in Lanesboro, on the weekend of October 6 - 8
GEORGINA CAMPBELL AWARDS 2018
‘Hospitality Hero’ Award for services to Irish food and hospitality - James & Beryl Kearney and Gary O’Hanlon, Viewmount House, Longford, Co Longford
Hotel of the Year - The Twelve Hotel, Barna, Co Galway
Restaurant of the Year - Dax Restaurant, Dublin 2
Chef of the Year - David McCann, Executive Head Chef, Dromoland Castle, Co Clare
“Just Ask” Restaurant of the Year - The Bay Tree Bistro, Waterford, Co Waterford
A Taste of the Waterways Award - St George’s Terrace Restaurant, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim
Seafood Restaurant Of The Year - Hooked, Galway, Co Galway
Outstanding Guest Experience - Quinlan & Cooke Boutique Townhouse and Seafood Restaurant, Caherciveen, Co Kerry
Host Of The Year - Tony Frisby, Earl of Thomond Restaurant, Dromoland Castle, Co Clare
Business Destination Of The Year - Tankardstown House, Slane, Co Meath
Wine Award Of The Year - Green Man Wines, Dublin 6
Pub Of The Year Bar - One, Castlebar, Co Mayo
Newcomer Of The Year - Bullitt Hotel, Belfast
Family Friendly Destination - Amber Springs Hotel & Health Spa, Gorey, Co Wexford
Pet Friendly Destination Of The Year - Pupp, Dublin 8
Hideaway Of The Year - Castle Murray House Boutique Accommodation, Dunkineely, Co Donegal