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A Job Well Done


The life and times of John D Toner MBE L.FIHI FIH – a legend of Northern Ireland’s hotel and hospitality industry – have been more than interesting, they’ve been remarkable. This book sets out to chart some of them, in his own words and in the thoughts and recollections of those who have known him well.



John D Toner came from humble beginnings and went on to achieve great things. In his almost half a century in the hospitality industry he worked his way up to become one of the most successful hotel managers in Ireland.

This book tells the story of the journey of a non-academic child from a difficult family environment finding the way in his own way. John worked in hospitality – an industry decimated by the Troubles – and against seemingly impossible odds made a success of the hotels he managed. He took time throughout his busy career to pass on his knowledge to community and sporting organisations, enabling them to develop in ways that would have been extremely difficult without his input.

This is the story of a man whose life is also a snapshot of local history, but from a completely unique perspective. John’s down to earth way of telling his story endears the reader to a man of his time with no back doors.


John D Toner was born in Mullaghmore, County Sligo in 1948. His school and early working years were spent north of the border. After hospitality training in the Republic of Ireland and London John found work at the Grand Central Hotel in Belfast. While there he worked his way up to junior management and from that time became sought after as a Hotel Manager. From the early 1970’s until his retirement in 2013 he managed some of the premier hotels in the North of Ireland. In 2016 John received an MBE at Buckingham Palace for his outstanding contribution to the hospitality industry in the North of Ireland.

Petesy Burns was born in Belfast in 1962. On leaving school he qualified as a mechanical engineer but chose to pursue his passion for music instead. In the mid 1980’s Petesy helped form The Belfast Youth and Community Group / Belfast Musicians Collective. The group went on to provide music-related resources for unemployed and low-waged young people from in and around Belfast. Giros, as the social centre was affectionately known, ran from 1986 until 2003. From that time Petesy concentrated on his new found passion, Tai Chi, and from 1996 until the present he has been teaching it. He is currently studying to be a Therapeutic Counsellor.

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Additional information

Weight 0.4 kg
Dimensions 22.5 × 14.7 × 3.4 cm