Our Founder

Michael Fassbender – Founder

My parents acquired West End House in 1993 and ran it as a family restaurant for 17 years. I worked behind the bar and have fond memories of chatting with the locals and tourists that dined there.

The building itself has over a hundred years of history and was originally a school for housewifery. It is situated opposite Killarney’s famous Cathedral and a stone’s throw away from the entrance to the National Park. For some years my family and I have discussed the possibility of converting the building back to a house of learning.

At the age of 17 I was introduced to acting by Donie Courtney. I am forever indebted to him as he set me off on a path that changed my life. We have remained friends ever since.

In the spring of 2020, I rang Donie and we set in motion a plan to bring a drama school to the heart of Killarney to offer the youth a place to study the arts. In September 2021 we opened our doors to three secondary schools, St Brigid’s Secondary School, St Brendan’s College and Killarney Community College.

Our vision is to create a safe space for students to work collectively and inspire one another. To value the creative process and encourage them to take risks. Ireland has a proud heritage of storytellers. Whether it be through music, poetry, theatre or film. We want West End House to celebrate that great heritage as well as nurture it.