People of Rosscarbery- Kate Wycherley25/04/2020 | People of Rosscarbery
To our next “People of Ross” post. Celtic Cottages and Kate Wycherley. Celtic Cottages self-catering holidays homes in Rosscarbery were the first business venture into tourism for the Wycherley Family. The cottages opened back in June 1978. They are now run by Kate Wycherley ‘Celtic Cottages to me is an extension of my family’, although not a native of Ross she reminisces of great summers when she was younger staying with her grandmother and spending time with cousins. ‘I was actually christened in the local parish church, and one of my earliest childhood memories is having Christmas morning in my Dad’s homeplace’. It’s like Kate has come full circle, she now lives fulltime in Ross, as she married, local man, Greg O’Donovan in 2011. They have two daughters. Kate is also an active committee member of Network Ireland West Cork branch.
Kate worked in the hotel for a few years, her family’s business, first on reception then in sales & marketing. And later she pitched in to cover maternity leave as front office manager. ‘I have such fond memories working in the hotel, the camaraderie of the staff and the craic! I made lifelong friends while working in this part of our family business.’
The cottages were always run from home by Kate’s mum, the late Nora May. ‘We had a very busy house, with six kids and a business at home, we all had to pitch in. I grew up answering the phone to enquiries, taking bookings and such like. In the early days, my siblings and I did A LOT of folding brochures and inserting the rates pages, they had to be done very precisely’! Nora May ran the business with an on-site manager, most notably local lady Marian O’Shea - ‘I always remember how well they worked together and Marian was amazing with the guests’ Kate says. Marian is a regular for morning coffee or breakfast at the hotel and a pleasure to catch up with.
Kate is owner manager of the business for a few years now, ‘I love it, I get to work and live in such a beautiful place with such a strong community. I would not be able to run this business - 21 holiday homes - without the support of my husband, my hardworking staff including locals Kathy and Joyce, Tony the gardener and all the tradesmen who are vital to running this type of business. Thankfully I still have my dad to get business advice from and I’m always asking Neil in the hotel for his opinion on different things!’ Such is Kate’s experience of the hotel this is a reciprocal support arrangement with Neil & the team plucking Kate’s brain😀
‘Of course, Celtic Cottages wouldn’t still exist without the most important people – our guests! It’s so rewarding to welcome back our many regulars every year to the cottages, we catch up when they check in and then they sink back into their own routines when they visit Ross. When the hotel opened it gave such a huge boost to the local economy especially having the facilities of a leisure centre on our doorstep. The added bonus of groups, such as weddings, coming to the Celtic Ross, staying in the cottages outside the summer months extends my season too, even though the summers are usually fairly good, they are short.’ The knock on business the cottages bring to the hotel is priceless and it is fantastic to have an easy business relationship next door.
Kate’s goal is to keep Celtic Cottages going strong for years to come, ‘as my father passed the business to me, my aim is to also hand it over to my children and we will continue to welcome people to this beautiful place of Rosscarbery and West Cork for many years to come’ - well done Kate, you Greg and family are more great “People of Ross”, another wonderful family business💚🇮🇪