Francis Brennan has revealed how a desire to dress up pushed him to enter the hotel business.

Brennan may be a household name and owner of the five-star Park Hotel in Kenmare, Co Kerry, but said he entered the hospitality industry for unusual reasons.

He revealed: “I always knew that I wanted to be in the hotel business. Back in 1963 or 1964 mum and dad were inquiring about borrowing money from the bank to buy a guest house in Sligo.

“My father had been married in 1951 and he had worn a tailed coat, the type that Fred Astaire wore.

“He had it in the wardrobe and I used to dress up in it and think that it looked nice. So when mum and dad were looking at this guest house situation, I was thinking, ‘Oh, I could get wear out of this tailed coat and walk around the hall looking very important.’

“I never got to wear it because the bank wouldn’t lend them the money so my father stayed put as a grocer in Stepaside. That was it though and the seed was planted, so since the age of 10 or 11 I have wanted to work in the hotel business. The style was very important.”

Brennan shot to fame seven years ago alongside brother John on RTE’s At Your Service, where they tried to turn the fortunes of flagging businesses around. He said he could now also be appearing on American TV with a wedding-themed slot.

Speaking on The Anton Savage Show on Today FM, he also ruled out retirement.

He said: “I couldn’t stay at home, what would I do at home?

“At 54 I was given a new career, isn’t that wonderful? Before that I hadn’t done any telly. It’s exciting.”

The Dubliner also spoke about his stint as a Rose of Tralee judge in the 1980s but said he would never return to the role.

He revealed: “It’s a lot of work, the commitment was colossal.

“Everybody thinks that Daithi [O Se] is the man that picks the Rose of Tralee but there’s a whole committee behind that and it’s a week-long picking process.”


Article by the Irish Mirror and written by Kathy Armstrong