Head of Shannon College of Hotel Management


Head of Shannon College of Hotel Management Retires after 34 years


new head of college and retired head of college, smiling with two students

The Head of Shannon College of Hotel Management, Phillip Smyth, recently retired after 34 years. He is succeeded by Adrian Sylver, who becomes the fifth Head of School in its 71-year history.

Phillip joined Shannon College in 1988 after a career in the Irish Army with duties in Border Control, Overseas service and Military College Lecturer. This Army background had a major influence in his management style at Shannon College of Hotel Management, with attention to detail, impeccable presentation, discipline and hard work, all integral parts of the learning at Shannon College.

Phillip successfully guided Shannon College through three decades of immense change, from his start with the College with only 4 staff and 150 students, to today with over 40 staff and more than 450 students.

Through his time at Shannon, he oversaw and contributed to important milestones including Shannon’s integration as a College within University of Galway, development of its own honours degree, extensive international placements, internationalisation of the student body, maintaining close alumni connections with the ‘class patrons’ programme, and continuing Shannon’s 100% employment rate for all undergraduate students.

The educational system at Shannon College is unique. Programmes offer a rich mix of practical training, extensive placements at operative and trainee management level, business education, all combined with development of the student as an individual and leader. Phillip has played an integral role in creating this environment that allow students to thrive and develop their own management style.

Throughout Phillip’s time as Head of Shannon College he ensured the history and ethos were preserved. The emphasis on practical hands-on learning was maintained while still developing with the ever-changing needs of industry.

Speaking of Phillip’s legacy, incoming Head of School Adrian Sylver said: “Phillip’s contribution to Shannon College of Hotel Management and the hospitality and tourism sector over the last 34 years has been immense. His tenure and leadership has brought the College to where it is today, a School of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, University of Galway.”

Galway native Adrian will now lead the team at Shannon College with the help of Deputy Head of School Tracy Hegarty. Adrian has worked as a lecturer in Accounting and Finance at Shannon College since 2006, having joined from Dublin Business School where he worked as a senior academic lecturing on undergraduate, postgraduate and professional accounting programmes.  Tracy, a graduate of Shannon College, lectures in Revenue Management, Rooms Division and Information Technology and has been with the College since 1996.

Phillip Smyth said: “I have worked closely with Adrian for 16 years, and he has been my Deputy for the last five. He has the leadership skills and the drive to take Shannon College of Hotel Management to new heights. He is devoted to his students both educationally and personally and is deeply committed to maintaining our unique educational ethos.”

For more information on Shannon College visit https://www.universityofgalway.ie/shannoncollege/


Media queries to pressoffice@universityofgalway.ie

About Shannon College:

Shannon College of Hotel Management, founded in 1951, is Ireland’s only dedicated Hotel Management College. Shannon College of Hotel Management is recognised as one of the leading hotel management colleges in the world. It was the brainchild of visionary entrepreneur Dr Brendan O Regan, located next to Shannon airport, to ensure a ready supply of world-class hoteliers was available for the emerging hotel industry as it seized on the tourism opportunity triggered by the growth then of transatlantic and other international services into Shannon.

In 2015 Shannon College was integrated into University of Galway and is a School of the College of Business Public Policy and Law. The college first began its association with the University in 1990 and became a recognised college of the University in 2000.

Shannon College’s international reputation can be seen via its partnership with The Seychelles Tourism Academy. In 2008 Shannon College entered into a Partnership Agreement with the Seychelles Tourism Academy to manage its Advanced Diploma programme and accept graduates of the Diploma to the final academic years of the BBS in International Hotel Management programme in Shannon.

Shannon College currently offers Bachelors, Masters, PhD degrees and plenty of further education options which include flexible programmes, PG certs, and CPD offerings.

Shannon College programmes place emphasis on prior interview, strong practical training, extensive placements, and the inculcation of professional skills, appearance and attitude, together with the development of commercial awareness and business acumen. Shannon College offers a unique experience to students with a strong emphasis on developing the whole person.

Graduates hold Senior Management positions in a wide range of hotels across Ireland and many other parts of the world.



Tracy Hegarty |   Deputy Head of College

Join us in Congratulating Tracy Hegarty in her new role as Deputy Head of College. Tracy, a graduate of Shannon College, lectures in Revenue Management, Rooms Division and Information Technology, is head of Alumni, and has been with the College since 1996. We are so delighted for you Tracy and wish you the very best in your new position.
in Connect with Tracy

Helena Doody |   College Manager

Helena graduated from Shannon College of Hotel Management in 2003 and held positions in a number of multinational hotel groups. She returned to Shannon College in 2005 to take up the position of School Liaison Officer and Lecturer in Hospitality & Business Law. She completed an MSc in Hospitality Management in 2010 and was awarded Best Dissertation and Student of the Year for her class. She also completed a Diploma in Legal Studies before taking up the role of Marketing Manager in 2016 with responsibility for all EU and International Marketing and recruitment activity for the college. Since May 1st Helena has taken up the position of College Manager with responsibility for daily operations of the College including student services, health & safety, buildings & maintenance, accommodation, finance, purchasing and ethos.
in Connect with Helena