“A day in the life of Nuala Mulqueeney, Acting Managing Director of Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre


Chatting with Nuala Mulqueeney B.A., H.Dip (Business & Tourism)

Nuala Mulqueeney, born and bred in Kilfenora, Co Clare is Acting Managing Director of Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre, a family-run visitor attraction, that has been welcoming and educating visitors to and about The Burren, for 44 years, the last 22 of them being open all year round.

Q 1- How does your normal day begin?

The alarm goes off at 6.30 a.m. Chats with and school drop off for my daughter Joanna in Lisdoonvarna, then on to Aillwee via one of the most scenic drives in the country along the N67, down The Corkscrew Hill into The Burren. How Bad!!

Ailwee Cave. Photograph by Eamon Ward. with Aillwee team, Atlantic Geoparks Project.

Q 2- What are your biggest daily challenges?

Completing a task list!! I ‘suffer’ from being distracted easily and at Aillwee there’s always something to feed my bad habit! We ‘shapeshift’ throughout the year so whether it’s out & about touting for business, preparing for our Burren Gold cheese-making season or overseeing the annual welcome for Santa and his team of elves, I’m often away from my desk!!

Q3- What do you love most about your job?

Please see above  No seriously, we have a saying at Aillwee that ‘no two days are the same’ which is wonderful as the next project or event or upcoming season keeps the team and me motivated, engaged, ready to adapt and working really well together, extending our renowned ‘Fáilte go Aillwee’ to visitors.

Q 4- What do you do to relax?

Hmmm, I do try to fit in a walk, however long or short, most days. Living and working in The Burren and North Clare ensures that I have many unique, beautiful and varying routes to choose from.

Q 5-Favourite staycation destination in Ireland and why?

It’s got to be Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa, Rosslare in the Sunny South East. A family run a business like our own, the welcome and care extended to us while visiting is second to none. That and the novelty of admiring exotic Palm Trees while not leaving Irish soil!!

Q 6-Favourite holiday destination worldwide? James, Emma, Joanna and I have enjoyed many holidays in Trogir, Croatia. Similar to The Burren, it is a fascinating Limestone costal region which also sustains UNESCO World Heritage Status. Of course, more in the way of warm sunshine and less rain is always a plus!

Nuala on her own Photographed by Robbie Reynolds




Q 7-Favourite Business motto? Being a fan of continual learning, it really appeals to me that Michaelangelo said ‘I’m still learning’ at age 87

Q 8. Advice for young business entrepreneurs: Be the one to volunteer, try lots of things, get stuck in, stay engaged, informed, and just do it!