Island manager at Spike Island Cork John Crotty was honoured for his work as he was named the Talbot Hotel Collections ‘Overall Winner’ of their Business, Sport and Community awards 2019. The awards pick a monthly winner in Cork to recognise their contribution to an area of Cork’s business, sporting or community life, with an overall winner decided at a gala ball every year in one of the Tablot collections properties. The hotel chain runs the Midleton Park hotel, the Oriel House in Ballincollig and 4 other properties in Carlow, Dublin and Wexford.
Mr Crotty has been at the helm of the island attraction since its reopening in 2016 following a 6.5 million Euro investment by Cork County Council and Failte Ireland. Opening with 27000 visitors in 2016 the island has increased its visitors to 81000 in 2019, as well as tripling its employment levels. The island has also enjoyed international success and was named ‘Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ of 2017 and also ‘Best Attraction’ at the ITTA travel awards in 2019, beating off serious competition from finalists the Cliffs of Moher and Warner Bros London attraction Harry Potter.
Mr Crotty thanked the island team whose hard work had helped to deliver the success and his father and mother, Stephen and Nora Crotty of Affane, and brother Patrick and sister Sharon and brother in law Darren who were all present. He also thanked his wife Jacqueline Crotty.
The award was presented at a ball held in the Midleton Park hotel by Deputy Mayor of County Cork Cllr Susan McCarthy and Deputy Cork City Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh, as well as the Tablot collections hotel management team. Also present were the awards sponsors RedFM, Aib and Flanaghan print.
The island attraction is set to reopen on February 01st for weekends and half terms in February and March, with 7 days opening for the first time this year from April to October. Visitors can explore the dark cells of the 1850’s punishment block, the modern 1985 cells, Ireland’s largest military fortress and exhibition space and enjoy the scenic island walks and cafe. Having been used as a 7th century monastery, a huge 1700’s fortress and an island prison on more than 4 occasions spanning 4 centuries, the island has over 1300 years of rich Irish history. And there are several child friendly exhibitions and huge open spaces for families to enjoy a great day out.