Belfast Telegraph

Shining tribute paid to late hotels chief Sir William Hastings on RTE’s entrepreneurs show

Eoin Shanley presents Lady Hastings with bespoke lamp
Eoin Shanley presents Lady Hastings with bespoke lamp
Sir William Hastings
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

RTE has paid tribute to the late pioneering hotelier Sir William Hastings in a new TV series.

Strictly Business follows the fortunes of six small Irish entrepreneurs as they endeavour to make it big.

On Tuesday night the programme featured Wicklow man Eoin Shanley.

After being made redundant he set up Copper Fish Studio, which creates a unique brand of bespoke lighting pieces.

The designer takes the inspiration for his work from the origins of the materials he uses, which he finishes off with a high-spec LED 'showpiece' bulb, which has an average lifespan of 30 years.

For the new series, presented by fashion designer Sonya Lennon, Mr Shanley's skills were put to the test by the Hastings.

The well-known hotel family were asked to give the Wicklow designer something that was close to Sir William's heart.

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The businessman passed away in December 2017 at the age of 89. The public face of the world famous Europa Hotel, he died just six months before the Hastings Group unveiled the £53m 300-bedroom Grand Central Hotel in Belfast.

For her part, Lady Joy Hastings decided upon a piece of Mourne granite to reflect her late husband's love of the mountains.

Lady Hastings and daughter Julie were presented with a lamp inspired by the shape of the Mournes, with a base made out of wood from the Belfast Docks.

"We were delighted when RTE approached us to ask if they could organise a bespoke tribute to Billy in the first series of Strictly Business," said Lady Hastings.

"I knew straight away that he would have loved to support the initiative given his strong entrepreneurial spirit and the fact that he spent a lot of time over the years mentoring young business people across Hastings Hotels and the wider tourism industry.

"I enjoyed meeting Eoin and the lamp he created now takes pride of place in the Sir William Hastings Suite in the Grand Central Hotel."

Belfast Telegraph