Pat McCann named distinguished leader in business at Irish Times awards

Former Dalata Hotel Group CEO led company on to Dublin and London stock markets

Former Dalata Hotel Group chief executive Pat McCann has been chosen as the recipient of the distinguished leader in business award at the fourth Annual Irish Times Business Awards, run in association with Bank of Ireland.

Mr McCann stepped down as chief executive of Dalata last year, having helped to establish the business 15 years ago, and later taking it onto the Dublin and London stock markets. During his time in charge, he steered Dalata through the aftermath of the 2008 economic crash and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hospitality sector

Mr McCann spent 52 years in the hospitality sector, joining the Ryan hotel chain in 1969 from school before moving to the Jurys group in 1989, later becoming chief executive of Jurys Doyle, a position he left in 2006.

He was “heavily involved” in the establishment of the Jurys Inn three-star-plus brand in Ireland and Britain. “That was a very exciting time. It was something very new and very different,” he told The Irish Times.

In 2007 he helped establish the Dalata group, floating the company on the stock market in 2014. Dalata is Ireland biggest hotel group with 49 properties and about 11,000 bedrooms. It operates the popular Clayton and Maldron brands both here and in Britain.

Investor and director

Mr McCann (70) remains actively involved in business as an investor and director in three start-up technology companies. Among other roles, he is a non-executive director with housebuilder Glenveagh Properties and deputy chairman with the National Maternity Hospital. “I have seven jobs now and it keeps me nice and busy,” he said.

Previous recipients of the award have been Mark FitzGerald of Sherry FitzGerald, Breege O’Donoghue, a former senior executive with Penneys/Primark, and aviation executive Willie Walsh.