Character of Cork: Billy takes joy in people’s happiness

Billy Adams manages to balance family life with running a hotel. He tells Roisin Burke how he loves to make people happy and why winter weddings are the best
Character of Cork: Billy takes joy in people’s happiness

Billy Adams and his dad Terry on the horse and carriage the Courtmacsherry Hotel uses for Weddings.

A HARDWORKING soul with a mercurial spirit, Owner of the Courtmacsherry Hotel and Coastal Cottages and caravan park, Billy Adams is a well-known Cork character with stories to share for every occasion.

Taking over the hotel at the age of 18 after his father Terry suffered an aneurysm, Billy left his college degree in Tralee where he was studying mechanical and electrical engineering. A trained chef, a skill he learned from his father, Billy worked hard to reinvent the hotel bringing it from a one-star establishment to a three-star hotel over the past 20 years.

Now 41, Billy remains dedicated to his work constantly upgrading and revamping the hotel and coastal cottages as well as the caravan park.

Most recently, during the pandemic, Billy trained a stallion horse to pull a carriage, which he now uses for weddings at the hotel.

“My sister Siobhan and my mother Carol ran our horse riding school and I looked after the hotel, but when the insurance went sky high, we had to close the school and we had about 20 horses just hanging around the place. 

"At the start of Covid, I bought a stallion and I trained him to draw the carriage for weddings.” 

A social creature, Billy said one of the main things he loves is organising parties and social occasions so people can get together and have a good time.

“The best thing about my lifestyle is I work in a hotel and I get to make people happy. I do discos and parties and bands on the front lawn of the hotel so people can have fun in a nice way.” 

Among his proudest achievements, Billy mentioned a recent charity fundraiser where he raised almost €10,000 for the Irish Cancer Society by cutting his hair which he had let grow during the pandemic.

“I’m hoping to get to €10,000, I’m leaving the Gofundme open for another week and give it a push. I’d be very happy if I got that. I was thinking €5,000 but then it went past that and I just thought, this is great!”

Married to Ellen, with two children, Meg (6) and Tim (8), Billy said Ellen, who has known since he was very young, has helped him to chill out and lead a more balanced life.

“When I was younger, I didn’t go anywhere, I just worked all the time, I never went to Slane, or other concerts, I just worked, worked, worked.

“Ellen and the kids slowed me down, made me more balanced, Ellen would be telling me, you have a family now, you need to spend time with them.” 

Despite Ellen’s influence, Billy was the organiser of their own wedding, which was held in January in a Marquee.

“There were 220 guests and four bands, we had fake snow all day, it was brilliant.” 

Billy said he always prefers winter weddings.

“I prefer winter weddings because you know what you are getting, you are not hoping for sun. For summer weddings everyone wants sunshine and if it doesn’t happen you are kind of disappointed.” 

Despite trying to work less, Billy said one of the life lessons he tries to live by is to make sure you oversee and supervise any commissioned or contracted work.

“I normally do everything myself, but there was one time where I paid someone else to organise and get some work done and it ended up being pretty shoddy and very expensive and since then, I always make sure that I supervise and make sure the work is done the way I want it. I’m pretty wary about things like that.” 

In terms of advice, Billy passed on this golden nugget of wisdom for anyone who wants to listen.

“Don’t follow what everyone else is doing. See what everyone is doing and do the opposite.

“People can be easily led,” Billy said.

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