Happy International Women’s Day!! We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight all of the amazing work that our owner Sammy Leslie does. She’s a pioneering businesswoman and the guardian of Castle Leslie Estate. The Estate is one of only a few still in the hands of its founding family who have lived here since 1665.
Sammy returned home to run the estate with her siblings in 1991 at the age of 24. At a time when all border areas were affected by the Troubles and much of the 350-year-old Estate had fallen into disrepair, Sammy took up the reins, starting up her first venture in the form of a Victorian tea rooms in the leaky Conservatory of the Castle!
Since then, through sheer dedication, stubbornness and passion, she and her team have restored many of the wonderful buildings on the Estate – opening them up to be enjoyed, filled with life and laughter again and in turn created a sustainable future for the Estate, welcoming many guests, building up a sustainable and talented team and winning many awards along the way.
In 2001, she took over full ownership and established the Castle Leslie Preservation Trust to ensure the estates long-term survival. She also works on a number of innovative initiatives to protect and share the natural and built heritage of Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough Village and the surrounding region well into the future.
In addition to her role at Castle Leslie Estate, Sammy has acted as a Trustee of Birr Castle for the past 20 years and has previously acted as a founding Trustee for the Irish Heritage Trust for 10 years. In recent months, Sammy has been appointed to the Board of the Irish Heritage Council.
Sammy also sits on the Board of the Ifrah Foundation which she helped to found and gain charitable status in 2015. The Ifrah Foundation aims to support Irish Somali Ifrah Ahmed in her campaign for the cultural abandonment of FGM/C (Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting).
Sammy, we salute you! #womeninbusiness #womenempowerment