AN award-winning Irish publican who runs one of London’s most popular watering holes has been shortlisted for a national tourism award.
Co. Clare native Gerry O’Brien is one of ten people vying for the title of Tourism Superstar 2015 – which will be announced by the British tourist board VisitEngland in March.
In the 30 years that Gerry has been running The Churchill Arms, a flower-filled pub in Kensington, he has received numerous awards – for his service, ale and his floral displays.
The VisitEngland competition, which is being run in conjunction with The Daily Mirror newspaper, recognises “the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry, and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have an unforgettable experience” a spokesperson confirmed this week.
But it is the public who will choose the ultimate winner - by voting for their favourite nominee here before February 28.
The shortlisted superstars are:
Andrew Archibald – Doorman at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester
Mark Brattle – Head Falconer at Leeds Castle in Kent
Sue Copp – Guest Service & Inclusion Manager at Sandcastle Waterpark, in Blackpool, Lancashire
Chris Green – Zoo Keeper at The Cotswold’s Wildlife Park and Gardens in Burford, Oxfordshire
Matthew Henderson –Engagement & Participation Team Assistant at Beamish Museum in County Durham
Katie Neville – Period Interpreter at Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon
Gerry O’ Brien – Publican of The Churchill Arms in London
Clive Phillips – English Heritage Steward at Wellington Arch, London
Kevin Shurmer – Museum Sales and Interpretation Assistant at STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon, Wiltshire
Angela Tidmarsh – Tourism Officer at Wychavon District Council in Worcestershire
The winner will be announced on March 14, the first day of English Tourism Week, and will be invited to attend VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence in May.