“I was in the catering industry for forty years,” he says. “I loved it. I trained in Shannon College Hotel Management, spent time in Switzerland and a year in England which were great experiences. At twenty-three I was Banqueting Manager in the Shelbourne Hotel. Then I got into the contracts side of things with big corporates until a friend of mine started up a catering company. I worked with him for a number of years and was lucky enough to work on concerts and events like the Ryder Cup.
Eventually, I applied to Fáilte Ireland and I delivered training sessions for them about for about seven years.”
After a broad and glittering career in the industry, Tony decided to take his knowledge and start his own company training people for the catering industry. Although he says “it went very well for a few years”, interest in catering among young Irish people began to decline and the numbers attending began to dry up.
Of course Tony could have finished up and enjoyed retirement but he was keen to try his hand in a new industry. He was on the lookout something that was reliable, sustainable and benefitted from his skills as a great communicator and team-player. Through the age-old friend of a friend, Tony got wind of an organisation who he hoped were on the lookout for a concierge.
“I ended up going for an interview with Carmel Moran in the offices of Provincial,” says Tony. “We got on well but she told me that at that time they didn’t have any concierge jobs. I was a bit disappointed but she asked me to consider taking up a role as a security officer.”
Initially Tony was reluctant.
“She just told me that she thought I’d be a good fit and she pleaded with me to go for an onsite interview,” recalls Tony. “When I went, I liked what I saw. I liked the atmosphere. I got to talk to a few security officers and they allayed my fears about being a security officer. It was much more than that. It was so much more than just being a security officer. The role was more varied than I thought it would be.”
As Tony progressed through the ranks of his team at Provincial he was offered concierge roles on other sites. He politely turned them down.
“I liked my role so much that I actually didn’t want to change,” he says. “I was happy doing what I was doing. “It’s great to be part of team and not be isolated. It was a great morale booster for me. The atmosphere in there is great, the work ethic and the training. The group I work with are so young that they keep me feeling young. I would like to keep going until I’m sixty-six and hopefully go in some form until I’m seventy at least. It’s a young crew but they look after me really well. The support is great. My brothers and my friends think I’m in heaven when I talk to them.”
Are you considering a career in security? Talk to the Provincial team today!