The 4-star luxury Killeavy Castle Estate has officially opened. After leaving Killeavy in South Armagh over 50 years ago to settle in Australia, Michael and Pauline Boyle have returned home this month to cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony of the newly developed Killeavy Castle Estate. The once derelict Estate bought by their son Mick and his wife Robin in 2013 has undergone a comprehensive restoration and building programme creating a world class hospitality destination.
Set on 350-acres, the Estate has been lovingly developed into a luxury country retreat with the restored 19th century Killeavy Castle as the centrepiece. New developments of a modern 45 bedroomed hotel, spa, restaurant, bar, walled garden and café and an event space for up to 220 people all complete the picturesque Killeavy Castle Estate. Only an hour’s drive from Dublin or Belfast, this peaceful oasis is ideal for a rejuvenating escape, castle wedding or function, corporate meeting or conference.
Owner of Killeavy Castle Estate, Michael Boyle Senior said:
“South Armagh has always been a special place for Pauline and I and we are so happy to be able to return to open this hotel that will showcase its beauty to the world.”
Killeavy Castle Estate is a food lovers delight, delivering the farm to fork ethos in the hotel’s restaurant, bar and café. Fresh seasonal vegetables and herbs are picked daily from the vast walled garden or foraged from the extensive onsite woodlands. Estate grown Cheviot lamb and Longhorn beef are also regularly part of the offerings. From fine dining to casual meals, there is a culinary experience to suit everyone within the laid-back ambiance of the rural setting.
Darragh Dooley, Executive Chef at Killeavy Castle Estate said:
“Local, fresh and unique is what we do here at Killeavy Castle Estate. I believe good food is all about combining fresh natural flavours and produce in an imaginative way and that’s what we offer here every day.”
Jason Foody, General Manager at Killeavy Castle Estate said:
“Killeavy Castle Estate is special in this region and our aim is to become a leading destination for those that holiday within the island of Ireland but also to become a go to destination for the discerning international traveller be this of leisure, business or wellness. We want all our guests to get closer to what’s important to them, be this food, nature, history or total relaxation. As well as being a luxury rural retreat, Killeavy Castle Estate is also an ideal for venue for corporate events with a range of meeting and reception spaces.”
Now employing nearly 100 staff, the business gives South Armagh the opportunity to showcase its warm welcomes, local produce and majestic landscape.
Owner, Mick Boyle added:
“The aim of developing Killeavy Castle Estate as a world class destination, is now coming to fruition. Already we have had a significant number of international guests. They have all loved it here at Killeavy and wished they could have stayed longer.”
“I would like to acknowledge the support from Invest NI, Newry Mourne & Down District Council and the backing of First Trust Bank. This support and backing have allowed us to create local employment, restore significant historic buildings and provide a special community meeting space.”
The Hotel is made up of 45 delicately decorated spacious bedrooms in a modern style with views of the stunning rural landscape and historic buildings. Rich fabrics which feature bold colours of pumpkin, lemon, sage and teal represent the seasons and enhance the hotel’s abundance of natural light.
Within the hotel, the spa at Killeavy Castle Estate has its own private entrance, reception area and 7 treatment rooms each with their own unique style and purpose enabling totally rejuvenation. The water therapy area with hydro and exercise pool has views of the magnificent landscape. Treatments include the luxurious Elemis range, where spa meets science meets skin or Caudalie offering natural skincare with the use of the grape vine.
The Castle, a Grade A listed building, has received a full restoration ensuring it will be enjoyed for many generations to come. Killeavy Castle is the perfect venue for that special occasion or event with impressive reception spaces, private dining room, library, 4 bedrooms upstairs and private cellar bar. Majestically located on the slopes of Slieve Gullion, the views from the castle and forecourt extend over the Ring of Gullion to Dundalk Bay. Nestled behind the castle is a marquee event centre perfect for wedding receptions, corporate meetings or conferences catering for up to 220 guests.
Owner, Mick Boyle added:
“Although we are proud of what we have provided for the community to date at Killeavy Castle Estate we are far from finished. There are lots of environmental improvements to the Estate we want to implement.”
His wife Robin added:
“Northern Ireland has the lowest percentage area of woodlands in all of Europe. With that in mind we are talking with the Woodland Trust and the Northern Ireland Forestry Service about a scheme we have developed to plant the slopes of Slieve Gullion behind Killeavy Castle with an additional 100 acres of broadleaf woodlands to provide of over 200 acres of continuous broadleaf woodlands expanding and linking the woods in Killeavy Castle Estate with the woods at the adjacent Slieve Gullion Forest Park. What a gift that would be for future generations.”
Speaking at the official opening, Colm Shannon, CEO of Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade added:
“On behalf of Newry Chamber, I would like to congratulate the owners on the fabulous restoration of Killeavy Castle Estate. This is a first-class hospitality destination and will be a real boost to the tourism industry in our area.”