Dermot Madigan has always been one of the great Irish hotel managers. He has always had all the skills – the ability to do 10 things at the same time, whilst making it look easy, and being able to sort out whatever issue you have right now, with a smile.
But the story of the Mulranny Park over the last decade is not just the excellence of Mr Madigan and his team. If you have had the luck to stay here, then you know that already. No, the story of the MP is the fact that the hotel gets better and better, and keeps getting better and better.
The rooms have gotten better. The ballroom is – get this – quite beautiful, and not just an empty hangar waiting for giddy wedding guests to give it some fizz. The cooking from head chef Chamila Mananwatta is some of the best cooking on the west coast – nuanced; pert; colourful; smart. And you would walk to Mulranny just to have their signature brown bread.
All this would be enough for any hotel manager. But it’s not enough for Dermot Madigan. For what makes this guy exceptional is the fact that he not only drives the MP, he also drives the collective who have created and refined the Gourmet Greenway, the busy bunch of talented artisans whose cooking and food creativity make the Greenway so special, so unique.
We can divide County Mayo’s food history into BG, and AG: Before Greenway, and After Greenway. Before Greenway, the food folk were there, but were not a collective. After Greenway, they present a powerful quilt of artisan food quality. You can’t be happy, anymore, if a trip to Mayo doesn’t tick off all these brilliant guys.
And behind this quilt of quality is Dermot Madigan, doing what he does: organising; encouraging; staking out the future; finding the ley lines that make Mayo unique. Mr Madigan is one of the great contemporary masters of Irish food.
The Gourmet Greenway is Mayo's Finest Food Trail, showcasing all the great cooking along the route of the Great Western Greenway. You can download a pdf of all the food and activity events associated with the Gourmet Greenway here.