Friday’s Child - Cuaran O’Neill

Ciaran O'Neill, manager City Hotel, Derry.
Ciaran O'Neill, manager City Hotel, Derry.

Ciaran O’Neill, the well-known hotelier, manages The City Hotel in Derry. He was born in Derry in 1969 and moved to Canada with his family where he grew up until they returned in the mid ‘80s. He trained to be a Chef at NWRC and Portrush Catering College before travelling abroad learning the hospitality trade and eventually returning to his native city in the mid-90s.

He has managed hotels locally for the last 15 years and sits on the NI Hotel Federation Board and the Board of Governors of St Cecilia’s College in Derry.

How would you describe yourself?

A quiet person who gets on with getting it done.
Happiest childhood memory?
I had a happy childhood and was a real mummy’s boy. Christmas was always a great time.

What was your first job?

My first real job was working for Marc Caitheness in Bells Restaurant as a waiter and then commis chef whilst I was at catering college.
Favourite book? 
I am not a big reader of books but love a good cookery book.....

Favourite film?
The Legend of Bagger Vance.

Favourite TV programme? The West Wing.

Favourite expression? daughters will understand.

Favourite method of relaxation?
Walking Murphy my Newfoundland dog or a nice meal for two with Anne Marie.

Favourite holiday destination?

Florida. We have had some great family holidays with the kids.

Who would you most like to meet?

That is a difficult question. In my job you meet a lot of very famous people but if I had to choose one I would have to say St Peter at the gates on the way in!

What makes you angry?

People with no respect for other people.

What makes you happy?

My family.

What human quality do you least admire?


What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?

Plenty. Most recently last year on crutches falling off a bus whilst telling the bus driver I did not need any assistance from him!

What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?

I have been very fortunate
so far; nothing worth
mentioning when you see what some people have to endure.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing a loved one.

What has been the high point of your life to date?

My children - Laura, Ciara and Michael - and meeting a young girl from Moneymore 25 years ago.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a good man.

What is your most treasured possession?


If you won the lotto what would you do with it?

Share it a little, spend it a lot and most of all enjoy it!