Allan Shine has been the CEO of County Kildare Chamber since 2011
What is your first Kildare memory?
My first memory of Kildare is my Dad bringing me to his offices which were in the old courthouse in Kildare town. I used to run around the building and explore the old jail cells. He used to bring me up to Cill Dara Golf Club where my parents were members. I spent hours on the putting green and playing pool in the clubhouse.
What do you like most about Kildare?
Kildare has a lovely balance of urban and rural divide. Name another county that has a mix of the most amazing landscapes such as Pollardstown Fen , rolling grasslands of the Curragh and the old working peatlands. The quality of the golf courses in Kildare also amaze me and in my opinion Kildare is the hidden gem in Ireland. We have it all . The Punchestown Festival is something I look forward to most every year.
The county comes alive that week like none other.
What's your favourite restaurant and/or pub in Kildare?
Maynooth has in my opinion the best restaurants in Kildare, one is as good as the other.
The Straffan Inn, Kavanaghs in Naas and Jones in Clane are my favourite pubs. Getting time to visit them is a problem as a new arrival to the Shine household has curtailed me from frequenting my favourite pubs !
I love my coffee and first thing in the morning I can be spotted in Shoda in Maynooth, Quirkes in Straffan or Urban Kitchen in Naas.
What are the most interesting elements of your job as CEO of Kildare Chamber?
An old cliché but every hour is different. We have over 400 members and it’s an extremely active membership. Helping and supporting SME’s in Kildare is really rewarding.
I am passionate about supporting business in Kildare and I am very lucky to have a very supportive team in the Chamber that I work with.
Our recent trade mission to Boston was the highlight this year for me and also Kildare Chamber winning Chamber of the Year in Ireland.
What's your ideal day in Kildare?
Golf in the morning in The K Club or Millicent, then a coffee followed by a walk in Donadea Forest with my wife Sinead and my daughter Olivia and son Charlie. A pint in the Straffan Inn and then either a takeaway from K Thai or we might go out to Maynooth for dinner.
The best thing about Kildare is there is so much to do at the weekends. We love walking around The K Club and then visiting family in Clane.
I’m a true Lilywhite and love “Keeping it local” so we stay in Kildare as much as we can at the weekends.