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Rockwell Catering College Reunion taking place this October

The Rockwell Hotel and Catering School, which had a major influence on traditional cooking and service in Ireland, is holding a Reunion for past students on Sunday 11th Oct 2015.

Rockwell was world renowned for training and turned out some of Ireland’s best chefs and waiters, many of whom work in top restaurants around the world today. The Catering College began in 1958 under the auspices of Bord Failte Eireann and was run by Mr. Jimmy Kelly.

Well-known past pupils include Martin Shanahan, TV chef and proprietor of Fishy Fishy in Kinsale Cork, Eugene McSweeney, a well-known industry consultant who resides in Kilkenny, Ed Cooney, Executive Chef at The 5 in the Merrion Hotel, Steven McNally, Deputy CEO at the Dalata Hotel Group and President of the Irish Hotels Federation, Noel Cunningham, Media personality and General Manager at Harvey’s Point, Paul Carty, MD at Diageo and Chair of Irish Tourism Confederation (ITIC).

Jimmy Kelly and Pat Cronin
Mr. Pat Cronin, who was one of the first students and the last Manager of the Catering School after being at the helm for almost 15 years, said, “Rockwell had a major influence on traditional cooking and service over its 25 year history the hotel and catering industry in Ireland, and it’s legacy is still lives on as past pupils continue to make a major impact on the National and global Hospitality business. It is a sadder place without the Rockwell student”.

Some famous Rockwell Hotel School students include:
Steven McNally, Ed Cooney, Martin Shanahan, Noel Cunningham and Paul Carty.

Dolores O'Connor, the co-ordinator of the event, is looking forward to welcoming all past students, of any year, to the event. Dolores, who was a former secretary of the catering school and is currently Managing Director of Ambassador Recruitment, said, “This year’s get-together will be the best yet and we expect in excess of 180 past pupils. Everyone is assured of a great night with excellent food exceeding expectations of those working in the industry.”

Former pupils will be travelling from all over Ireland and further afield for the event – one chef Padraig Molloy is even coming in from Antarctica. The evening, which is in aid of local charity, will commence with mass at 7pm in the hotel, followed by a drinks reception, 4 course dinner and music to follow.

The organisers also looking for old photos or memorabilia of Rockwell and another of their famous past students, Rory Morahan, The Druid Chef, is putting together a collection for all to see on the night.

Past pupil from Rockwell Catering College, Rory Morahan, The Druid Chef

If you have memorabilia, would like more details on the event, or you would just like to reconnect with old Rockwell friends see the Rockwell Hotel School Facebook page or contact

The Reunion will be held in the 4-star Landmark Hotel, located in the heart of the beautiful riverside town of Carrick-On-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. The hotel is owned by Ciaran Kelly, a past student of the Rockwell Catering School.

The Landmark Hotel is situated on the main Dublin to Sligo (N4) road overlooking the beautiful river Shannon, with access to stunning lakes, is offering special overnight rates for past students. Book your room and dinner on at  071 9622222 or

I went to Killybegs Catering College so I won't be joining you but have a great evening!

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