The Team/Hosts

The Team/Hosts

Fergus O' Halloran, Managing Director

Following a successful career at some of Canada’s top hotels and restaurants, Fergus O’Halloran returned home to Galway in 2004. In close partnership with the hotel developers, he was heavily involved in all aspects of the design, planning and philosophy of luxury boutique hotel The Twelve, in Barna.

Fergus graduated from Les Roches Hotel Management School in Switzerland. He then moved to Canada, beginning his career there with the Four Seasons in Toronto. He then moved on to manage Chiaro’s in Toronto’s landmark hotel, The King Edward. Under his guidance Chiaro’s became Toronto’s top fine dining destination. 

From there he moved to Canada’s west coast, where he managed the food and beverage operation in Canada’s top boutique hotel, The Wedgewood in Vancouver City. He also spent two years in Whistler where he successfully opened and established the restaurant of the number one ranked Fairmont Chateau Whistler in British Columbia.

Passionate about both food and wine, Fergus graduated as Canada’s top Sommelier in 1997 from The International Sommelier Guild of Canada, and is noted for his exceptional food and wine pairings. Whilst in Canada, he garnered seven Wine Spectator Awards for ‘The Most Outstanding Wine Lists In The World’.

His philosophy has always been to provide an exceptional and memorable experience for every one of his guests. He has been closely involved with all aspects of The Twelve’s invention, and, as GM, looks forward to greeting guests and overseeing new and exciting developments in this luxury destination.

Fergus has a tremendous passion and belief in food tourism and in showcasing local ingredients and skills. An influencer in the local hospitality community, Fergus also contributes significantly to the national conversation and direction of the hospitality sector.

He is a director and chairperson of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, the Western Tourism Forum, the Irish Hotels Federation and Galway Tourism Committee, a Failte Ireland Food Ambassador and a director of the Galway Food Festival.

Martin O' Donnell, Head Chef

Martin trained and worked in many of Galway's and Ireland's finest restaurants before taking up position of Head Chef at The Pins Gastro Bar. Under his direction, it quickly became one of Galway's top casual eateries; winning 'The Best Gastro-Pub in Ireland’ and numerous other accolades. The Pins was recently acclaimed with its first culinary Star Rosette from The Automobile Association's Food Academy.

Martin took on the role of Executive Head Chef of The Twelve to bring his talents to West at The Twelve. West has gone on to become a finalist in the 'Best Hotel Restaurant in Ireland' and has won a Gold Medal Finalist award for 'Best Bistro in Ireland.'  It has also been awarded two culinary rosettes for creative excellence and is heavily tipped at Michelin star level.

With a style of cooking that focuses on local and seasonal ingredients – Martin's passion is using local producers who are passionate about their produce. True to the region, True to the season.

Meet some of the people behind the food on your plate

The Twelve is a member of Green Hospitality Ireland and has achieved Platinum Medal status for careful environmental policies. When it comes to what you eat here at The Twelve, much of our ingredients are organic and as local as possible. 

Worth mentioning are our good friends at Uncle Matt’s, Gabriel’s Arran Goat’s Cheese, Stefan of Gannet’s fish Mongers, Green Earth Organics, Marty’s Mussels, James McGough butcher extraordinaire and Solaris Organic Teas and Herbals.