Development & Alumni Relations Office 

 

Margaret Mooney (née Keyland), BA (died 13 April 2020, aged 93)

 

Full obituary available online - https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/margaret-mooney-obituary-hotelier-showed-character-during-troubles-1.4254330

Born in Ballymena in 1926, where her family owned the Fairhill public house, Margaret Keyland was among the early women graduates of Queen’s University Belfast in 1951.

 

Her initial career was in education, teaching Geography and Latin in Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch, Co Down.

 

In 1953, she married the hotelier Cathal Mooney and joined the family business running the 'Welly' Park and Botanic Inn. Margaret and the family showed huge strength of character during the testing years of The Troubles when the Wellington Park was bombed seven times.

 

Their partnership expanded with the acquisition of the Dunadry Hotel in Templepatrick, County Antrim in 1986 (subsequently sold in 2018), shared ownership in the new Armagh City Hotel in 2001, and the re-purchase of the Botanic Inn in 2016. Margaret Mooney’s career in the hotel industry spanned 66 years and continued in an advisory role until this year. She was immensely proud to see it become a fourth generation family business.

 

Margaret also served during the 1970s and 1980s as a member of the Senate of University of Ulster, as president of the Queen’s University Women’s Graduate Association and chair of the Belfast Education and Library Board.

 

Margaret was predeceased by her loving husband Cathal and survived by her children Charles, Felix, Margaret, John, Ellen, Arthur, Robert and Sara, her 32 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

 

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