IHF Diary

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Wednesday, 28th February 2018: Donie Cassidy, hotelier and businessman, is the recipient of the Irish Hotels Federation’s (IHF) President’s Award 2018 in recognition of his significant contribution to Irish tourism. He was presented with the Award at a Gala Dinner celebration in the Slieve Russell Hotel, Cavan, following the IHF’s 80th Annual Conference this week.
Congratulating Donie, the Irish Hotels Federation’s outgoing President Joe Dolan said he had played an important role in helping to secure and maintain tourism’s place at the centre of government policy. “Tourism is a key part of the Irish economy not only as a domestic export industry but also as a driver of regional, urban/rural and social balance. This award recognises Donie’s diverse and substantial contributions to our sector over several decades. He has been a very positive force in assisting the Federation to achieve many of its goals. His lifelong involvement in the music and entertainment industry, which is an intrinsic part of tourism and hospitality in Ireland, has added a further dimension to that support,” he said.
Donie has been involved in the hospitality sector for over 30 years, in a career that began with his co-ownership of Barry’s Hotel and the Tudor Dance Venue on Dublin’s Parnell Square. Today he is head of the Cassidy Hotel Group, which has three hotels in central Dublin. 
He also enjoyed a long, successful career in politics and was chairman of the enterprise and small business committee from 2002 to 2007. During this period, he championed the interests of the SME sector and helped to pave the way for the introduction of the personal injuries assessment board and other major insurance reforms, resulting in reduced insurance premiums for SMEs including many hoteliers.
A professional musician and band leader for many years, Donie was also a successful manager and played a key role in launching the careers of many Irish artists, including the world renowned Foster & Allen.  His influence spread to Gaelic games, where he pioneered the idea of entertainment at half time in Croke Park on All Ireland Final Days.  He also found time to help in the establishment of the popular National Wax Museum on Parnell Square, Dublin, a much-needed year-round tourist   attraction at the time.
Previous recipients of the IHF President’s Award include Paul Carty, Dr Tom Cavanagh, former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, Anna May McHugh and Dr Martin Naughton. 
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