The team at Gilleran's Bar who won the award for Best Pub of the Year at the Midlands 103 Hospitality Awards.

Four Mullingar businesses scoop hospitality awards

Winners too in Tyrrellspass and Kinnegad

Over 300 people celebrated the return of Midlands 103's Hospitality Awards in a lavish event in Portlaoise on Monday night.

The celebrations at the Midlands Park Hotel recognised those working in the hospitality sector in Laois, Offaly and Westmeath, with over 10,000 votes counted to create the shortlist.

The businesses were than visited by an independent judging panel, which included Michelin Star Restaurateur Sallyanne Clarke and Tim Husbands, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse.

The judges spent several days trekking the rural roads of the region to find this year’s 51 winners across five categories.

The big winners on the night from Mullingar included Gilleran’s Bar scooping Pub of the Year; The Annebrook House Hotel took the award for the Best Boutique Hotel; and Danny Byrne’s taking the title for Best Bar for Sport.

Meanwhile, in the Tourism Sector, the Overall Tourist Attraction of the Year award went to Mollie Moo's Pet Farm, Mullingar.

The Overall Tourist Attraction of the Year award went to Mollie Moo's Pet Farm, Mullingar.

Best Fine Dining Restaurant went to Browne's on the Green in Tyrrellspass; while Trevor Byrne, Scanlon's Bar and Restaurant, Kinnegad was voted Best Restaurant Manager.

The Wineport Lodge in Athlone took the title for Restaurant of the Year, while Athlone's Hodson Bay Hotel was recognised as the Best Family Hotel.

Best Fine Dining Restaurant went to Browne's on the Green in Tyrrellspass.

The Killeshin in Portlaoise was crowned Hotel of the Year, while Laois is home to the Chef of the Year, with Bernard Rochford from the Midlands Park Hotel getting the nod. The Pantry reclaimed its title of Best Café and the county is also home to the Country Bar of the Year, Hogan’s Bar, Coolrain.

In Birr, staff in the County Arms Hotel were celebrated for providing the Best Customer Service in the region, while Hushabye Alpaca Farm, Killeigh picked up the title of Best Guest House or B&B. Browne’s – The Venue in Tullamore saw off stiff competition for Best New Establishment.

The team at Danny Byrne's who won Best Bar for Sport.

A new award was added to this year’s event to remember Midlands 103’s Albert Fitzgerald, who passed away in August. His son Stephen presented the Albert Award for Overall Marketing/Salesperson of the Year to Donal O'Gorman, Managing Director, The Bog Road, Kilminchy.

Sallyanne Clarke says “it is my pleasure to be involved as a judge for this year’s Midlands Hospitality Awards. There are so many hotels, restaurants & pubs doing a wonderful job despite the staff shortage in our industry. These awards not only show resilience in the current economic climate, but their innovation & constant strive to be the very best they can be. I take my hat off to all nominees. Everyone is a winner in my opinion.”

Liam, Mary and son Billy Gilleran pictured at the event holding the award for Pub of the Year.

Here’s the full list of winners:

The annual event is presented by Midlands 103 in conjunction with Laois and Offaly County Councils and various commercial partners. Managing Director Will Faulkner is congratulating all companies who took part.

“These awards reflect the view of listeners and customers first and foremost because nobody gets on the shortlist without their support. All nominees are therefore among the best of the best and we’re delighted to put on a showcase celebration that gives them a richly deserved pat on the back in challenging times,” he said.