KillarneyExperience :w:

A Waltzer Experience Special for the Killarney conference

permanent url:/killarney | week 141 | 09 October 2001
Waltzer Archives: 2001 | 2000 | Discussions | Wage Slave | Kaner Experience | Kaner Memories | Photography | Quote of the Week (coming soon)

Killarney 2001: Exclusive photograph and video. Scroll down for video.
Waltzer, Trish, Triona, Isobel, Joleen, Des, Mairead, Richard, Des, Trad band, Mo, Gillo, Mark, Ger, Russ, Hotel, Peter, Ed, Jay, Devil cheesecake, Shane, Loouise, Kevin, Cathy, Mary Kate, Breffni.
>> Back to week 141

John Bradley: "I'm staying in the Europe hotel but I haven't slept there either night"
Only a week since the conference
Writer admits "I can't afford to keep eating in Berman Wallace"
Family keep phoning for computer advice



Search through the archives.


Search the web.

Get e-mailed headlines every Monday.

Video: Des laughs at Paul sucking helium.
Video: Walk around the dancefloor to the sound of "Hot Stuff."
Video: Walk around the dancefloor to the sound of "Hey Baby."


The Waltzer Experience is a weekly underground culture magazine for the Clonskeagh office. Waltzer welcomes submissions to

Alan Wall is a graphic designer who's interested in photography, web design, Dublin culture and writing.


Bangtastic retreat!
By Waltzer

WaltzerAfter all the warnings to attend all events, the shopping for new clothes, the excitement and anticipation, we finally found ourselves in the train station on time. A surprisingly decent fry from one of the cheaper restaurants went down well, despite the plastic knife and fork and polystyrene plate. Meanwhile over in Killarney, some of the crew were playing golf, having gone down the previous day.

Once the train was ready (an hour late according to the itinerary, but everyone reckons it was a ploy to get us there on time) we got out seats and started chatting. After a few card games, a Danish, and lots of drinking, we were there.

The "short walk" tuned out to be just that, a short walk, to the Great Southern. Upon checking in we were offered lunch which someone described as "like the canteen on a good day."

Leaving the lunch table a little early allowed me, Isobel, Mairead and Des to take a horse and trap up to Ross Castle, where there was a park and lakes. We had a few minutes up there before the rain spoilt our fun, then came back in time for the first conference.

The conference was incredibly boring and about as much use to us as HTML lessons to the CEO of a web company. Luckily it only went on for two and a half hours. Back upstairs, we had been left two corporate "gifts" - a geansai each. Grand, only they left a small and an extra-large for myself and Richard, who are both medium! That'll have to be fixed.

In the bar of the Hotel, I bumped into ex-sim, Shane, who now lives in Kerry. He was in good form and was planning his gate crashing for the following night.

Moving onto the Europe hotel for the evenings entertainment, we were presented with a wonderful selection of food: salmon, crab claws, prawns, hot dogs, meat balls, ham, burgers… Crazy! That night was mediocre; I think everyone was waiting for the next night to let their hair down.

There was a band playing who were absolutely terrible, singing republican songs and Irish rubbish to our American people and to our Northern Ireland people from both sides of the political strife. Nobody was impressed. Most of the company are 20-something urbanites; the last thing they want to hear is country and political tripe. It's just so unsophisticated.

The place did have a chill out room however, so a lot of people were making use of that. Much fun was had with people sucking helium from balloons and waffling, as the video of Des and Paul shows, right.

Also available the first night was a snooker table. A tournament ensued, with much money changing hands, I believe. The night was fairly civilised, Tri spilling drink on Greg only twice! Most people headed back to their hotel at 1.00 on the bus. When I got to the Great Southern, the bar was open, which left me in a predicament: Bar or bed? Knowing that I had an early start and wanting to be in good drinking form for the second night, I retreated to my bed. Needless to say, the drinking and parties went on into the night, even without my presence.

The next morning I crawled out of bed at 8.50 despite the ridiculous wake up calls at 7.00 and 7.30 which we ignored. And two mobile phone alarms were ignored also. Ciaran Hill rang for room service breakfast only to be asked if he was from the "Smart group." They were instructed not to entertain any requests from us for breakfast in bed!

The conference was a good chance to catch a few zees before the day's activities began, but alas, the chairs were too uncomfortable. Respect to Kevin and Greg for delivering the most entertaining and useful speeches.

A tea break was just the thing to give us the opportunity to get some plastic guns. By lunchtime, there were no four seats beside each other so some of us had to sit on our own. The food this time was described as "edible" and "wouldn't kill anybody."

The activities soon followed in the other hotel, with mostly amusing activities including a bouncy castle style obstacle course relay race. That was great fun in the rain. Soaking wet!

Then there was this vertical pipe that you had to fill with water from the lake to get three inflated balls out. The trouble was that there were holes drilled all along the pipe and water was pouring out all around. These holes needed to be blocked with hands or whatever. Roger blocked one with his cheek and Charley with his mouth! Needless to say, we were all soaked doing that one too! Of course it was too hilarious and taxing on the auld legs, so we gave up just before we finished, much to the annoyance of Jay who was just about to grab the last ball. The organiser told us then that we still had to complete the activity to get the balls out (I've just realised that we didn't; they would have just thrown them back in anyway) so we had to go through the routine again!

The activities were concluded with a ski race, where we all had to race with our feet on these skis. As we waited to start, a deadly silence fell over the crowd. It was a mad event. Our team did so badly that we just abandoned the skis after covering just the length of them, and walked up to the centre where the winners were already celebrating. Before returning to the hotel the winning teams were awarded the rumoured "substantial" prizes of £100 each and £75 for each of the second team. Very nice.

The Dinner that night was in the Great Southern, and again it was mediocre. The staff were a mixed bunch, some being extremely friendly and courteous, others being completely inflexible and hostile. Amanda had to lie about the amount of friends she had joining her for dinner so she could get a table. They were trying to sit everyone at tables where there were spaces, rather than let people sit with their friends. And there was no pulling a chair up to a table, you'd have your face eaten off you.

The awards followed with many of my friends receiving awards, well done kids. Unfortunately I didn't take notes on who won awards and the PR department wouldn't furnish me with a list of the winners when we were back in the office.

A U2 cover band did an excellent job of warming us up for the DJ, but unfortunately failed to get anyone up dancing. Once the DJ was on there was plenty of dancing and antics, including tying all the balloons to Johnny Nolan, then attacking him on the dance floor to the sound of Nena's "99 Red Balloons!" The bouncers didn't like that!

Meanwhile, at the bar, it's reputed that Shane was talking to Annette and had the following conversation:
Shane - Whose idea was it not to have a band this year?
Annette - What?
Shane - I thought it was a good idea
Annette - Err there was a band Shane, they were the U2 guys
Shane - Oh, I thought it was a concert telecast
Annette - I think its time to close the bar

The night went on with loads of drink, crushing at the bar and talking shite, I managed to get to bed by 5. The bouncers wouldn't let anyone into the main part of the hotel unless they were staying there. This led Ed Leahy to question "Is it cos I'm from Dublin?" much to everyone's amusement.

At four O'clock Jody treated everyone in earshot to an All Ireland winning captain's speech. Jody is still trying to live that one down.

The train journey home was fairly subdued, with only a few card games. Unfortunately we were subjected to the graceful lyrics of John Denver taking us home. One designer, who shall remain nameless, slept the whole way home, then took the three sandwiches home for the week. Back in Dublin, everyone was in a hurry to go home, so it was fairly boring, with the only amusement being me and Gillo walking the wrong way down the tracks asking if this was the way to Dublin, or some such rubbish, I was half asleep.

Overall, the trip was a blast; I enjoyed the views, the company and the antics. Let's do that again! Roll on April!

Discuss this story on the Waltzer discussions.
This article appears on week 141.

Givin' it Killarney
By Jody Fitzpatrick

JodyThe Galway Conference last year was my first experience of a fully-fledged company shindig, an experience I believed would be impossible to top. Killarney 2001, though was not to be found wanting and it surpassed last years event with unprecedented levels of good-natured high jinks. Others will care to disagree but I don't think there was one boring element in the whole three days including the rebel band on the Monday night (this craic is par for the course in my neck of the woods).

What about the speeches I hear you say. Not all of them were brilliant I'll grant you, but take it from me speechifying can be a very tricky business at the best of times. If it's polished talkers you want I recommend purchasing some shares in the Independent Media Group to see the good Irish man that he is Sir Anthony O'Reilly delivering his Chairman's speech at the group's AGM.

Yes Killarney was a great surprise on a number of fronts. Them U2 lads were as good as Syndey's Sunday Bloody Sunday or the even the Joshua Trio. The grub on the Banquet night was top nosh and the awards were well received. The music afterwards again was excellent and everyone seemed to be giving it Killarney.

The endearing thing about these conferences is that they're like a corporate Feile. And the great thing about it is that you don't have to worry about finding a shower in the morning or someone slashing your tent. The speeches are like the earnest up and coming bands you see in the afternoon while the craic at night is like the headline act and the messin afterwards in Liberty Square or the Racecourse campsite (I do realise that not all readers will get this analogy, although over 25s should have no excuse).

So it's fair to say that a great time was had by all. I meself gave it too much socks through singing, ranting and other guff. The powers that be called me in the day after and insisted that I spend two weeks of my holidays personally apologising to everyone in the building for my extremely annoying behaviour, whether they were at the Conference or not. They are pressuring me to do the same for all the company's foreign partners.

All the same I don't regret a thing. Well not much anyway. This brings me to my last point about Killarney 2001. It was a belter!






Waltzer Experience © 2000-2001 Alan Wall. All images are copyright and may not be used without permission.
Wage Slave © 2000-2001 Phil Barrett