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Meet the Team

Niall Rochford

Niall Rochford

Niall Rochford

  • General Manager
  • nrochford@ashfordcastle.com

Since graduating from DIT’s School of Hospitality Management and Tourism over 23 years ago, I have embraced the industry whole heartedly. Previously Deputy General Manager at Dromoland Castle, I have now been General Manager of Ashford Castle since May 2002. I am responsible for the day to day running of our iconic 82 bedroom castle. Continually ensuring we meet international standards of excellence I have a constant guest focus and am always seeking to find new and innovative ways to excel. I’m highly motivated and thrive on the continual challenges the business offers. I am proud to have been awarded Hospitality Manager of the Year 2013 sponsored by The Irish Times. Together with my dedicated and passionate team we provide genuine and generous Irish hospitality on a grand scale.

Peter Fergus

Peter Furgus

Peter Fergus

  • Hotel Manager
  • peterfergus@thelodgeac.com

I started my hotel career just 30 minutes away from the Ashford Estate, in Westport Co Mayo, having graduated from Shannon College of Hotel Management in 2004. I built a wealth of experience in the industry in Switzerland, Ireland and Channel Islands in various operational positions – from Lough Rynn Castle in 2007 as Food and Beverage Manager before becoming Deputy General Manager in 2008 overseeing a very successful wedding business until 2011. Following this I worked as Deputy General Manager for 6 years at the picturesque L’Horizon Beach Hotel and Spa in Jersey. More recently I returned to Ireland as Hotel Manager of Lough Eske Castle in County Donegal.

I was ecstatic to become Hotel Manager at The Lodge at Ashford Castle in 2018. After working overseas for so many years, it is wonderful to be back in my homeland, and I look forward to sharing my love of Ireland with you when you stay at The Lodge at Ashford Castle. There really is nowhere more beautiful than Ashford, with luxurious accommodation, exceptional dining, unique estate activities and warm, attentive, personal service.

Saskia Parker

LD_Saskia_Parker_250x266

Saskia Parker

  • Front of House Manager
  • Saskia@thelodgeac.com

I am originally from New York and moved to Ireland, working at the Four Seasons in Dublin. From there I moved to Mayo in 2008 and joined The Lodge at Ashford Castle - and I have enjoyed every minute! In January 2014 we couldn’t have been happier to hear that Red Carnation had purchased the Lodge and reunited us with Ashford Castle. The transformation the hotel has gone through since has been inspirational and I cannot wait to see what we can achieve now as one Estate.

Jonathan Keane

Jonathan Keane

Jonathan Keane

  • Executive Head Chef
  • jonathan@thelodgeac.com

I joined The Lodge as Head Chef in 2012 and serve a combination of simple, authentic, seasonal and innovative dishes daily. I have had a passion for cooking for as long as I can remember and started working in a kitchen on my 15th birthday, washing pots in the local pub. In 1997, I was accepted into the professional cookery course in the GMIT and spent two years mastering the basics. I have worked in a string of Irish hotels and restaurants, including O’Grady’s Seafood Restaurant, Adare Manor Hotel, Byrne’s Restaurant, The Atlantic Coast, The Mill Times Hotel and Cashel House. 

I focus on the quality of the country’s produce in my cooking, as I believe that the quality of the seafood, wild foods, livestock and vegetables in the west of Ireland is unrivalled anywhere in the world. I continue to champion West of Ireland artisan producers to the best of my ability and am co-founder of Slow Food Mayo and a member of Euro-Toques.

Paula Carroll

Paula Carroll

Paula Carroll

  • Director of Sales & Marketing
  • pcarroll@ashfordcastle.com

It has been an absolute privilege to be Director of Sales & Marketing at the legendary Ashford Castle, for over 25 years. I am proud to represent the wonderful Ashford family and since joining RCH in June 2013, two families have become one. My role is to connect our guests, clients and agents with the operational team, in a smooth and efficient manner to ensure that each guest has a truly memorable experience. Our team are warm, compassionate, caring, genuine and enthusiastic about delivering and living the Red Carnation ethos “No request too large, no detail too small”.

Jacinta Downey

Jacinta

Jacinta Downey

  • Assistant Hotel Manager
  • jacinta@thelodgeac.com

I joined the Red Carnation Hotel Collection in 2014 and I am overwhelmed with the genuine passion for going above and beyond for guests and colleagues alike – welcoming all as if they are family. I studied at Shannon College of Hotel Management and I have worked in hotels in Luxembourg, London and Dublin in various positions. I am very happy to now call The Lodge at Ashford my home and I look forward to the journey ahead and offering our guests an exceptional experience they will never forget.

Eilish Wall

Eilish Wall

Eilish Wall

  • Senior Sales Manager
  • ewall@ashfordcastle.com

I joined the Red Carnation Hotel Collection in June 2014. Having grown up in the area, I am very honoured and proud to be representing Ashford Castle and The Lodge at Ashford Castle and to be part of the Red Carnation family. I studied Hotel Management at GMIT in Galway and I have twelve years extensive experience within the hotel industry, having previously held roles as Senior Sales Manager with Powerscourt Hotel formerly Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt and prior to that as Sales & Marketing Manager at The G Hotel Galway. I am very passionate about building relationships with my clients, to ensuring they have a memorable experience with us and to living the ethos of our company “No request too large, no detail too small”.

Fiona Heneghan

Fiona Heneghan

Fiona Heneghan

  • Accommodation Manager
  • fiona@thelodgeac.com

My role, along with my experienced and dedicated team, is to ensure that guests receive the very best standard of service and to ensure their stay with us is a memorable one, making them want to return, time and time again. 

Having completed Hospitality Studies and Supervisory Courses in college, I spent seven years at Ashford Castle, before moving the short distance to The Lodge in 2007. I love working with a passionate and dedicated team, providing a host of thoughtful touches for each guest. I look forward to welcoming you soon!