The late Brian Walshe – Obituary

Brian Walshe

Brian Walshe was a member of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers for many years and attended his last Guild function in Dublin in October, 2010. Later that evening Oliver Murtagh, Emmet Fitzgerald, John Rigby and Andrew O’ Gorman joined him until late into the night where he told many stories and recalled many memorable events from Guild trips to vineyards and Guild events at home.

Brian was known as a man who lived life to the full and his sudden death on 9th February, 2011 saddened those who knew him personally and professionally.

The last professional gig he fulfilled as an actor was as father of the groom at a mock wedding at the Meyrick Hotel, Galway during the hotel’s wedding fair on the Sunday before he died.

Brian, a native of Salthill, enjoyed playing other parts whether they be for amateur productions or for the murder mystery weekends he had been running for the past 17 years. The scripts were all original and all written by himself.

He had a career in hotel management, starting in Shannon where he met the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, Charlie Chaplin and served the actor Cary Grant an Irish Coffee.

He also trained in Zurich and Paris before arriving in London during the swinging 60s. There he worked in the exclusive Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair which was frequented by the stars.

Then he became the first manager of Breaffy House Hotel in Castlebar, Co. Mayo before arriving at the Eglinton Hotel, Salthill where he produced the first Irish cabaret in a hotel in Ireland called “A Taste of Ireland”, showing that he had a flair for the arts.

Brian also managed the former Coachman Hotel, Domnick Street, Galway and eventually moved to Dublin to work with the Jurys Hotel Group.

Again, he returned to Galway, this time to take up a position as lecturer at the Regional Technical College, now GMIT, where he continued to share his knowledge of wine to the hotel management, bar and catering students for over 25 years.He retired from GMIT a few years ago.

Throughout all this time Brian kept up his interest in wines as a member of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers and Association Sommelier International. He travelled to the vineyards of many countries, including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, etc. on Guild and private educational visits.

He also shared his knowledge and love of wine to people through weekend courses in the Renvyle House Hotel in Connemara, where his murder mysteries were also very popular.

A wide circle of family and friends including members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers attended his funeral in O’ Flaherty’s Funeral Parlour on Saturday morning the 12th February followed by Requiem Mass in St. Ignatius Jesuit Church, Sea Road. He was interned in the New Cemetary, Bohermore.

Deepest sympathy is extended to his family.

“Ar dhéis Dé go raibh a anam dílis”. (A. O’ Gorman)

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