herald

Monday 18 December 2017

We gave up life in Dublin to run a hotel on an island off the coast of Donegal

A DUBLIN family have quit their jobs "in the rat race" to run a hotel on an island off the north- west coast.

The Killeens were so mesmerised by the beauty of Arranmore Island off Co Donegal that they all now live there.

Paraig and Cynthia Killeen from Dublin first moved to the island 18 months ago.

But now daughters Debbie, an airline pilot, and Paula, a legal executive, have joined them to help run the 24-bedroom hotel in Aphort, overlooking the Atlantic on the western side of the island.

"We first came to the island 17 years ago on a holiday and we just fell in love with the place," said Cynthia (59) who gave up her hairdressing business in Howth.

"At the time we wanted to buy a house here but the sale fell through and we thought that was it.

"But then this hotel came on the market and we thought we would have a look at it.

"It wasn't an easy process by any means and we had a lot of work to do because it had been lying empty but I wouldn't swap it for the world now."

Husband Paraig (59) used to be a fisherman and also ran a successful commercial vehicle painting business.

Now he has swapped painting delivery vans for delivering pints at the popular bar at the 23-bedroom Killeens of Arranmore.

"It is just such a special place," he said, "the people here have been so welcoming. They are just so brilliant and down to earth."

"It was a dream to actually live here," she said, "I don't miss Dublin at all. I've been back of course. I miss the people but not the place.

hnews@herald.ie

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