ATU students win 39th Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI) National Business Management Game 2024

Thursday, March 07, 2024 Press Office
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ATU students win 39th Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI)  National Business Management Game 2024

A team of five students representing the Galway International Hotel School at Atlantic Technological University (ATU) were selected as the outright winners of the 39th Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI) National Business Management Game 2024. The winning team of Genie McDowell, Grange, Co Sligo, Siobhán Byrne, Kells, Co Meath, Caoimhe Sweeney, Oranmore, Co Galway, Keeva Gannon, Wellpark, Galway, Zoe Mitchell, Ballina, Co Tipperary, scored top marks in the competition that attracted teams representing tourism and hospitality colleges around Ireland.  The 2024 win follows on from successes for ATU in the same competition in 2021 and 2022.

Another ATU team of five students also participated in the national competition. The team consisted of Shauna Gilbride, Ballymahon, Co Longford, Aoife McHale, Mulranny, Co Mayo, Laura Broderick, Buncrana, Co Donegal, Maedhbh Caulfield, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, Clodagh Hughes McIvor, Newtowncunningham, Co Donegal. 

The students are studying across a range of degree programmes in ATU including Event Management with Public Relations and International Hotel Management.

Cáit Noone, Head of the School, conveyed her congratulations to the team, mentors, and organisers, says: “This event is a live competition testing students’ business acumen, knowledge and skills. We applaud the team’s success and thank them for their commitment in preparing and participating in this event when they are naturally busy with their final year studies. I am very grateful to mentors John Carty and Colin Gilligan and all the faculty who individually have played a role in preparing the students for the world of work and in turn this competition.”

John Carty, tutor to the teams and ATU lecturer, says: “We are very proud of the achievements of both ATU teams. This competition is a great opportunity for students to test themselves and to learn in a high-pressured environment.  It was particularly pleasing to see the collaboration of students across our Event Management with PR and International Hotel Management, programmes, highlighting the practical knowledge, skills and team work ethic which are central to these programmes.”

The competition is supported by Fáilte Ireland, The Russell Partnership, Irish Hotels Federation, Talbot Collection, iNUA Collection, Windward Management, Dalata Hotel Group, Classic Drinks and  Over two days, the teams completed three challenges which tested the students’ business acumen and management skills in the areas of, human resources, financial planning and business development strategies. 

Winning team Genie McDowell shared her excitement: “We are so happy to have the opportunity to participate in such an amazing event. It has been an amazing experience and my team and I are still in shock at the outcome, considering the high levels of competing teams from around the country.  As a group of young women we feel honoured and proud to represent our University and fellow classmates.  It was a great opportunity to network and to apply the skills we have developed during our time in ATU and our industry work placements.” 

Student Shauna Gilbride says: “I can say is if we could do it all over again, we would! The competition was such an amazing experience that we will never forget. We were pushed outside our comfort zones in the best possible way, and I would encourage any final year students in the Galway International Hotel School to put their name forwards to this competition in the future! We were delighted to have the opportunity to represent ATU."

IHI President Daragh O'Neill FIHI says, "Once again, the business game was an outstanding success. Well done to all the teams and lecturers involved. We will continue to build on this to encourage a new generation into hospitality."

The Galway International Hotel School, ATU, is located on the Dublin Road campus, Galway city, offering courses in International Hotel and Hospitality Management, Event Management with Public Relations, International Tourism Management, Heritage Studies and Culinary and Gastronomic Sciences. The school was the first in Ireland to award degrees in Hotel Management in 1977. For further details, see: 

About Irish Hospitality Institute

The Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI) is a professional membership body representing over 1,000 Hospitality Professionals throughout Ireland. 

The role of the IHI is to assist, encourage and support Hospitality & Tourism professionals with continuous professional development, networking, recognition, career advancement and to promote excellence in the Hospitality & Tourism Industry.

To learn more about the Irish Hospitality Institute, visit  or call +353 01-662 4790, connect on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter


Regina Daly, Atlantic TU Communications 
Tel: +353 (0)91 742826 Mob: +353 (0)879618355