Niall Rochford sanding next to a rec chair

Niall Rochford

Managing Director of the Ashford Estate

With more than 20 years of experience, Niall Rochford is responsible for the overall success of our iconic 83-bedroom castle. Continually ensuring we meet international standards of excellence, Niall has a constant guest focus and is always seeking to find new and innovative ways to excel. Together with his dedicated and passionate team, Ashford Castle provides genuine and generous Irish hospitality on a grand scale.

Lisa Toomey

Hotel Manager

Hailing from Bunratty in Co Clare, Lisa started her career at Ashford Castle in 2017 as Director of Food and Beverage and was promoted to Director of Operations in 2019. In 2023, Lisa became Hotel Manager, and is now responsible for the day-to-day operation of Ashford Castle, leading and working closely with all heads of departments to ensure the consistent achievement of service delivery in accordance with Ashford Castle's Forbes Five-Star rating.

Regina O'Donoghue

Director of Marketing

Regina O'Donoghue joined Ashford Castle 18 years ago as a Groups Coordinator and was promoted to the position of Sales Office Manager in 2017, with a remit that extended to the castle’s sales and marketing functions. In 2023, Regina was delighted to be promoted to Director of Marketing, where she takes on responsibility for the promotion of the Ashford Estate as the best resort in Ireland.

Shane Brett

Director of Sales

Shane Brett joined Ashford Castle back in 2015 and has now been part of the Ashford family for over eight years. His journey began as a Guest Services Manager, giving him insight into the operations and needs of our guests. Later, he transitioned into the sales team and, in 2023, was delighted to be appointed Director of Sales. Shane now manages and oversees the entire sales operation and looks forward to continuing to nurture our relationships with clients and tourism partners.

Liam Finnegan

Executive Chef

Since the early years of his 23-year career, Liam has long admired Ashford Castle and the philosophy of using local, home-grown, and organic produce. Having worked in a number of prestigious restaurants in both Ireland and the UK, including Michelin Star restaurants and triple-A Rosette hotels, Liam developed a passion for fine dining. By combining old-school-style-cooking with creative flair, Liam is furthering his creation of innovative and exciting dishes at Ashford Castle.

A headshot Catherine Kenny

Catherine Kenny

Rooms Division Manager

The Castle, our guests and the team make Ashford a very special place to work and Catherine truly enjoys every day in her role. Ensuring guests’ comfort and needs are anticipated and nothing is left in doubt requires a keen attention to detail which Catherine possesses in abundance.

Robert Bowe standing in the restaurant in front of a drape

Robert Bowe

Restaurant and Wine Program Manager

Robert Bowe has worked at Ashford Castle since 1987 - starting as a Chef de Rang before quickly moving through the ranks as Room Service Manager, Sommelier and now as Restaurant Manager of the George V Dining Room and Wine Program Manager. Ashford Castle has been an icon for Irish hospitality with a wonderful food and wine experience for nearly 75 years and Robert is proud to be a part of it.

Noli Alngohuro In Prince Of Wales Bar with barmen in the background

Noli Alngohuro

Bar & Lounge Manager

Noli's love affair with Ashford Castle began in 2000 and he is now proud to be the Manager of the Prince of Wales Cocktail Bar and The Drawing Room, providing a welcoming space for guests to relax and enjoy their favourite tipple, a light bite or a pint of Guinness! Originally from The Philippines, it was not difficult for Noli to recognise Ashford as his 'home away from home' because at its core it fosters good family values, ethics and the importance of working as a team.

A headshot Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy

Director of Food & Beverage

Chris Murphy is excited to be part of the fabulous team at Ashford Castle, a property steeped in history and carefully restored to its former glory. It is a hotel admired by many in the industry as well as its returning guests. Chris takes pride in being one of the custodians that has the pleasure to provide guests with lasting memories.

Paula Stakelum

Director of Chocolate and Patisserie

Paula strives to create a great story behind every creation - using compelling food stories to connect with people. Paula's talent as a chocolatier saw her promoted to Director of Chocolate and Patisserie in 2022, and she feels very lucky to be surrounded by an incredible team of people here at Ashford.

Alex, Gardener Ashford Castle

Alex Lavarde

Head Gardener

Alex's journey at Ashford Castle began in 2022, taking charge of a significant garden project. With innovative techniques like the "no dig" system, he cultivates a diverse two-acre garden. In 2023, Alex launched his captivating and hugely successful Kitchen Garden tours. Alex's passion extends to beekeeping, where he delves into the intricate workings of bee society and production.

Paula Carroll stanfing against a stonewall

Paula Carroll

Strategic Ambassador

Having worked as Director of Sales & Marketing for 35 years, Paula Carroll now works with Ashford Castle in a Strategic Ambassador role. Paula connects our guests, clients and travel advisors with the operational team in a smooth and efficient manner, to ensure that each guest has a truly memorable experience.