AOIFE O’Connor is the assistant food and beverage manager at the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group in New York. The group was founded in Ireland in 1970 by hotelier Paddy Fitzpatrick. His son, John Fitzpatrick, brought the brand to the U.S. in 1991, and currently owns and operates two hotels in New York City.
A native of Dublin, O’Connor earned a BSc from the Dublin Institute of Technology. When she completed her degree she was offered a management traineeship with Fitzpatrick Hotels in New York which she completed for a year.
“After enjoying an amazing year I decided I wanted to come back,” says O’Connor, and she returned last October.
“Once you move outside of Ireland your nationality and heritage becomes more important as you are not automatically surrounded by it and you must therefore find your own way of identifying with home,” O’Connor says. “Although, this is not a hard thing to achieve when you are an Irish girl in New York and work with Fitzpatrick Hotels!
“Every day I meet someone who has a connection with family or a friend back in Ireland which helps me not get as homesick, and reminds me of how unique it is to be from a country such as Ireland but still find a connection in the crazy, wonderful city of New York.
“Irish heritage, to me, means coming from a small country but, due to generations of emigration, finding a connection to home wherever I go in America, but especially New York.”
O’Connor’s father is Tim O’Connor, the former Irish consul general in New York and top aide to President Mary McAleese.
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