Doolin Folk

Folk Festival

Doolin Folk

Event date: 18th - 19th September 2021

The Staff and Management of Hotel Doolin are committed to our Green Hospitality Programme.  Our three P’s are People, Planet and Profit and our aims are to Reduce, Re-use & Recycle!  Hotel Doolin is committed to sustainability in every facet of the business.

This programme aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the hotel by reducing waste, water and energy use throughout the hotel. In our first year we received the Silver award and since then have been awarded the highest award of Platinum in 2013, an award that only 8 other hotels in Ireland possess!  Hotel Doolin won Best Medium Sized Organisation 2018 & 2019 at the Green Awards as well as the Tourism & Entertainment Award in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Everyone has a role to play from Exeucutive Chef Danny in the kitchen who oversees waste management to Suphoj in the garden who makes it possible for us to grow our own deliciously fresh vegetables and herbs in the 50 foot polytunnel.  Our team are introduced to the program at induction stage and are encouraged to give their own feedback on any improvements that they can see would help us reduce our carbon footprint. There have been many changes to the Hotel since we implemented our Green Program including:

  • Harvesting our own Rain Water.
  • We have raised beds.
  • 50 foot polytunnel, where we grow our own vegetables and herbs which in turn are used in our recipes for the newly renovated Glas Restaurant, Fitz’s Bar & Stonewall Café.
  • We stock organic bath & soap products in our rooms from the Voya range. No single use plastics.
  • We send e-invoices to reduce the amount of paper that we use and also re-use paper at the front desk and offices.
  • Our waste is segregated throughout the hotel to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and recycle as much as possible.                                                                                     
  • Charge point for electric cars, this is offered free of charge.
  • We use compostable disposables and do not use any single use plastics.
  • We do not sell any plastic bottles of soft drinks or water saving circa 20,000 plastic bottles being sold per annum.
  • We have a no disposable cup policy for the staff.
  • We offer guests who bring their own keepcup a 30c discount on tea/coffee.
  • Any guests who arrive by bicycle get a free cup of tea/coffee.
  • We continuously make efforts to get our suppliers to remove packaging and take it back with them.
  • In 2018, the Eco-Barn that was built to replace the Marquee at Hotel Doolin for weddings. It is fully sound-proofed &has a state of the art sound system., it is an A-rated building with a sustainable heating and cooling system.
  • We sell fairtrade coffee.
  • Upcycling/2nd Hand Materials: Where possible, we try to upcycle materials rather than disposing of them. An example of this would be the sugar bowls in the café/pizzeria being the empty treacle jars that come from the kitchen.  We buy vintage second hand china saucers & cups for our wedding receptions.  In the Eco-Barn the bar counter is made from old whiskey barrels and the lampshades are made from old fisherman’s eel baskets from Sligo-see pics below. 



  • Tissue used in the guest bedrooms and the Barn is 100% ecological paper and is FSC registered which means that it is a product made from recycled paper. The toilet paper is made in Fiberpack, pulp fibres coming from recycling of beverage cartons. 
  • We buy 70% of our food produce from local suppliers (30 mile radius).
  • We are active members of the Burren Eco-Tourism Network which is a group of local like-minded businesses who are committed to supporting local and reducing environmental impact through the products/services we offer.
  • 100% of the stock sold in the gift shop is Irish including art from the locality.
  • At our 2017, 2018 & 2019 festivals, all attendees were given a souvenir glass. There is a rinsing station provided for the visitors to wash their own glass between drinks – this is to reduce the amount of plastic glasses that are used during the festivals saving circa 100,000 glasses in 3 years. 
  • The Do Not Disturb Signs in the bedrooms are made from wood and not paper as is the case in most hotels.


  • We utilise our own homemade compost in the polytunnel. By using our own home-grown produce we save nearly €6000 per annum.
  • We use the harvested rain water in our polytunnel for cleaning and watering plants therefore it is self-sufficient.
  • We “adopt a hedgerow” – the team chooses an area of the local road and cleans out the hedgerow. We generally do this twice per year. We cleaned our village approximately 4 times per year and collect lots of rubbish.
  • We advertise our Green Program and promote sustainable transport options through our website including the Cliffs of Moher Shuttle bus. We also promote programs like Leave No Trace Ireland on our website to raise awareness amongst our visitors. We encourage car-pooling at the festivals.
  • Our Environmental management policy is displayed in our reception are and also on our website.
  • As part of the Cliffs of Moher & Burren UNESCO Geopark we follow a Code of practice established by them, this code of practice is reviewed by external reviewers every year and only businesses that achieve 60% compliance with the code of practice can be members of the Geopark. We scored 96% in the last audit in 2017.
  • We support Moy Hill Community Garden who are working on beekeeping and increasing the number of bees in the world. We are commited to planting 900 trees per annum in Lahinch (that is 10 per wedding that we host).
  • We make most of the wedding cakes in-house which reduces supplier mileage. Most cakes were coming from Ennis, this equates to approximately 6400km per annum.  We put our pastry chef on a course to increase her cake skills too.
  • The heating system in the hotel is an air to water heating system; it maintains an ambient temperature of 21.5 degrees in the bedrooms and corridors of the hotel.


  • In the new Barn built in 2018, we installed 9 Daikin Ducted Indoor Units connected to 3 Outdoor Units. Each Indoor Unit has a cooling capacity of 6kw and a heating capacity of 7kw.This is a very energy efficient form of heating and the system has a COP of 4.5. In other words for every 1 kw of electrical power consumed it provides 4.5kw of heating.  This efficiency is far in excess of any other type of electric heating and far more efficient than oil or gas.
  • We also installed 2 no Daikin Heat Recovery Ventilation Units that provide the air changes in the room. These units combined have a total air volume of 4000m3/hr. From a sustainability point of view these units are very energy efficient due to the way they operate which is as follows: In Wintertime the Air Conditioning maintains the temperature in the space and the warm extracted air from the space passes over a plate heat exchanger in the Daikin Heat Recovery Ventilation Units which preheats the fresh air entering the space. In effect the warm air leaving the building heats the air coming in without the need for a heater battery or heating LPHW coil. The efficiency of this plate heat exchanger is approximately 80%. In summertime there is a bypass switch on the Heat Recovery Ventilation Units which allows fresh air into the building without pre heating it which reduces the load on the Air Conditioning System therefore saving energy and reducing electricity consumption.

Water Efficiency

Since 2017 (2 year period) have reduced our water usage by 59% per guest.

  • We monitor the shower aerators as well as water flow in taps in kitchen.
  • Urinals in bathrooms flush every 2 hours and we spot check this regularly too.
  • We operate a towel & linen re-use programme in the bedrooms.
  • We incentivise the guests to not have their room serviced by giving them a 5 euro bar voucher and there has been a very positive uptake on this offering.
  • Our washing machine has eco-friendly programmes pre-programmed to ensure that we are saving as much energy and water as possible.
  • We harvest rainwater and have a 6500 litre tank in the garden. This will be increased in 2019 so that we can use more rainwater for the toilets of the barn.
  • We have 4 shoots running from gutters into pipes bringing rainwater to the tank. We use this water daily for watering plants / polytunnel and cleaning. It is also used for power hosing the hotel & footpaths.  We estimate that this saves 2 cubic metres a day.
  • Installed new grease traps and upgraded the waste treatment plant (tertiary treatment system) has been installed.

Minimising Traffic/use of vehicles

  • We employ local tradespeople as much as possible.
  • We buy most of our produce locally.
  • We reward guests who travel to us by bicycle by giving them a complimentary tea/coffee & promote on the website. We also advertise and give them 10% off the room rate if guests cycle to the hotel.
  • We also provide information in our guest information folders in the bedrooms explaining that it is better to take public transport and to car pool if going to a destination. We recommend taking the shuttle to the Cliffs of Moher instead of travelling by car.
  • We held a raffle for St. James’ Hospital, Dublin at the Doolin Folk Festival 2019 and raised €1120.
  • Information on sustainability is available on and
  • Our staff can avail of a Bike To Work Scheme.
  • We organised buses from the local villages to bring people to the festival instead of driving. Approximately 200 people make use of this service per annum.
  • We did not print programmes for the festival in 2019, we sent this by email for people to screenshot and we painted the music programme on the walls around the venue.
  • We congratulated those that travelled by public transport on the festival itinerary this year.


In 2019, Hotel Doolin is now a carbon negative business – best result yet!

We have reduced our food waste per cover by 8% in the last two years.

Since 2017 (2 year period) have reduced our water usage by 59% per guest.

We have raised circa €30,000 per annum in the last 2 years for several charities.

Community Involvement & Corporate Social Responsibility:

  • Hotel Doolin always takes the view to promote Doolin as a destination more than the hotel itself. The festivals are called “The Doolin Writers’ Weekend”, “The Doolin Folk Festival”, “The Doolin Surf Fest”.
  • In 2018 the hotel spent over €1.5 million in local suppliers for hotel purchases.
  • Most of the 120 employees are from the local area.



  • In 2017, Hotel Doolin was nominated to the CSR Stakeholder Forum by the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation: the working group that we were nominated to is Environment & Community Dimension and the SDG’s.  This is the government’s plan on how to roll out CSR to organisations across Ireland.  It was fantastic for them to contact us to ask us to join this group and give our feedback on how we feel that this would work.  We will be hosting one of the meetings in October and presenting our CSR work to date in front of companies such as Bord Bia, Transerve, Accenture, DCU, ESB & UL.  Not bad for a small fish in a big pond!

Other initiatives: 

  • We employ 120 employees, most of whom are from the local area. This means that our team knows more about the area and nearly every family from the area has a family member working in the hotel.  The payroll for 2018 was €1.6m.
  • We provide ongoing training to all our team; Induction, Health & Safety courses, Customer Service etc. We continuously promote relevant members of the team.
  • We provide free membership to the local gym& swimming pool for the employees and their families.
  • We provide employees with free access to weekly yoga in Doolin.
  • We provide all staff with a free nutritional consultation and all management took party in a mindfulness course last year.
  • Our Social Responsibility Team organised a Youthfest in March 2018 & 2019 where we invited 400 youthclub members from Clare to Hotel Doolin. We gave them food, had music, spoken word, the 2 Johnnies & Laughter Yoga with the aim of enhancing Youth Mental Health.


Quiz for Elevate (youth wellness in Co. Clare)


Walk for Elevate


17 members of our team are climbing Carauntoohill to raise money for Elevate


Elevate Youthfest

All year

Collection Buckets for Elevate throughout the hotel

Halloween 2018

Doolin Pubs Beer Run in aif of Irish Cancer Society

May 2018

Walk Darkness into Light Pieta House

March 2018

Bewleys Coffee Morning Cahercalla Hospice

October 2018

Galteemore Climb in aid of Irish Cancer Society

October 2018

Bewleys Coffee Morning Cahercalla Hospice


Supporting Local nursing home Stella Maris, we are putting on food and music


Quiz Alzheimers Ireland


Walk in aid of Elevate


Raffle for St. James’ Hospital, Dublin.


  • We support a number of charities. In 2018, we chose Irish Cancer Society, Alzheimers Ireland and Elevate–the latter was set up by John Burke who is the Managing Director.  The aim is roll out workshops in secondary schools in Co. Clare to create youth wellness, address mental health issues individually, do mindfulness, have motivational speakers and will provide a team who specialise in youth wellness to address many of the mental health issues that exist with teenagers at a local and national level. 


  • Other organisations that we have supported are Ennistymon Choral Society, North West Clare Family Resource Centre, North West Clare Show Society Ltd., The Green Awards, Doolin National School, Lisdoonvarna, Doolin, Kilshanny, Kilfenora Community Games, Irish Red Cross, Kilshanny N.S & Clare Senior Ladies Football Team to name just some of those that we have supported over the last 12 months.
  • We have introduced a wellness Initiative for the Hotel Doolin Team called “Smiling on the Inside”. This includes weekly yoga, a 6 week mindfulness course, we have a health staff menu (no charge for their meals) and all staff & their families get complimentary use of the local swimming pool and gym in Lahinch.  We do a monthly staff outing too including rock climbing, caving, kayaking, climbing Caraountoohil last year and Galteemore this year and horse-riding.
  • All staff get free access into Doolin Folk Festival. All staff get 25% off any food bill at Hotel Doolin; no restriction on numbers.  They get 5% commission of any wedding booking that they bring to the hotel.
  • Every employee that starts working in Hotel Doolin receives a full induction day where our green Hospitality efforts and policies are clearly explained amongst other Hotel information. We plan on doing a refresher online training session for each employee 6 months after they start (via Green Hospitality).
  • We invest in our team. One example is Duty Manager Fara who did an Interior Design Course in Dublin and got a distinction.  She was the project co-ordinator for the recent bedroom refurbishment and has a strong sense of our Green Ethos as she is Water Team Leader.
  • All of these efforts have also given Hotel Doolin several national awards which are listed on  Most recent award was winning European Eco-Friendly Hotel of the Year at the Luxury Travel Guide Awards 2018 & Green Medium Sized Organization of the Year at the Green Awards in 2018 & A Greener Event at A Greener Festival Awards in London in February 2018.
  • On the 26th of December 2016 the hotel staff arranged a Run /Walk in aid of Pieta House, we raised €4611.50.
  • We held a quiz night on the 21st of December 2016 for West Clare Taking Care;  a voluntary run charity, based in West Clare. They are a "collective of concerned volunteers who can do research and disseminate information." They put together events and courses, including mindfulness and meditation practice, as well as helping start a dialogue about mental health...we raised €2000. 
  • On the 6th December 2015, the Hotel Doolin staff organized a Sleep Out to raise funds for The Simon Community, 10 brave employees took on the Wild Atlantic Winter Weather and raise €1250 in one night.
  • Our chosen charity for 2014 was St. Vincent De Paul. We teamed with this charity to give 15 families a Christmas to be remembered. Hotel doolin opened its doors to St Vincent De Paul members from the 24thof December to the 26th of December 2014. Our generous suppliers and the local community got immediately involved & the staff of the hotel volunteered to work shifts throughout Christmas to make sure everyone was cared for in this special time of the year. It was a fantastic Christmas for all involved and something our team are very proud off. In combination with this event we offered St. Vincent De Paul a 2 night stay with dinner each month during 2015 so that they could give it to people that need a break the most.
  • In 2013 we sponsored Cliodhna's Foundation. Our sports and social committee undertook a number of activities & raised over €3,000.
  • Hotel Doolin sponsored Clare Haven Women's Shelter in Ennis for 2012, undertaking a number of activities including the Burren Peaks Challenge, to raise funds and awareness for this much needed resource.
  • Hotel Doolin hosted the first Doolin Harley Festival which raised €37,000 for Marie’s foundation; all funds raised from the festival go to local cancer charities.
  • Hotel Doolin is involved in a number of local community groups, including the Burren Eco Tourism Network, Doolin Tourism Group, Burren & Cliffs Of Moher Geopark and the Tidy Towns Committee with staff members, actively involved with these committees.
  • The Burren Eco Tourism Network is made up of local businesses that endeavour to encourage responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the wellbeing of local people. Having common ground with the Green Hospitality program which the hotel participates in, the network informs tourists of local eco-friendly products and services that are available in the local food, accommodation, culture, heritage and activity sectors. For more information on the Eco-Tourism Network please click here.
  • The Cliffs of Moher and Burren Geopark supports people and organisations to work together to ensure a cared-for landscape, a better understood heritage, more sustainable tourism, a vibrant community and strengthened livelihoods for more information on the Geopark please Click Here.
  • The Doolin Heritage Group consists of a few local archaeologists and heritage enthusiasts. The group is currently involved in creating a map for the Doolin Heritage Trail. The map will highlight a number of walks around the Doolin area with information on archaeological, historical and cultural sites of interest. Our involvement in this project means that we will be able to give first hand knowledge of the area to our guests and encourage them to stay a little longer with us.
  • The Tidy Towns Committee looks after the presentation of Doolin village. The committee is currently involved in updating signage in the village, building flower beds, creating picnic areas and planting trees. This will further enhance the already striking area that is Doolin today.  
    • We make a commitment to plant 10 trees per wedding at Moy Hill Community Garden resulting in circa 900 native trees being planted per annum.