2006 Award Winners HOST OF THE YEAR 2006
Mrs. Vi McDowell - Gray's Guesthouse, Achill Island
Nobody understands better than Mrs Vi McDowell the qualities of beauty and peace that have been bringing guests - especially artists and writers - to Achill Island for the last hundred years. She ‘retired’ here with her late husband, Arthur, in 1970, and has been running the legendary Gray’s Guesthouse guesthouse in Dugort, ever since. It epitomises a quiet and gentle style of hospitality that has all but disappeared in ‘tiger’ Ireland and our 95 year old - who is very actively involved with the cultural life of the island, especially the Desmond Turner Achill Island School of Painting, and the cottage where Nobel prize-winning author Heinrich Böll once lived, which now offers a haven for artists and writers - is an extraordinarily interested and hospitable hostess. Visiting Achill, and this wonderful lady, is always a very special treat.
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