Oliver J. Murtagh RIP – an appreciation
Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers
I have known Oliver Murtagh for over 45 years & during that time we became very good friends. He was a totally dedicated to the hospitality industry & this was evidenced by his long career in the Burlington Hotel Dublin and his involvement with the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.
He was a tireless worker and organiser in the promotion of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers and held the position of President on a number of occasions right up to his sudden death. Oliver had great pride in the Guild uniform and the chain of office which he wore with distinction. He was well known & highly regarded nationally and internationally.
I travelled with him to numerous Association Sommelerie International competitions & events worldwide including Brazil, Argentina, Croatia among many others, the last one being to Antwerp, Belgium March last year.
On those trips Oliver regaled members from many countries into the early hours of the morning telling stories with good conversation & the customary glass of wine in hand. No matter what country he visited he was always interested in its cultural & historical aspects. He had a passion for visiting old Cathedrals and Churches and never left without saying a few prayers and lighting the customary candle.
The last Cathedral I visited with him was the famous Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp which has a long history. The Stations of the Cross in this Cathedral are replicated in the church of the Marino Institute of Education Dublin.
Oliver was already planning for the next International competition in Cyprus.
He had been looking forward to judging the Bartenders Association of Ireland National Cocktail Championship which took place this week at Citywest Convention Centre. The President of the Bartenders Association of Ireland Declan Byrne paid a fitting tribute to Oliver from the competition stage on Tuesday last. “The Bartenders Association of Ireland were saddened to learn of the passing of Oliver Murtagh. He was an absolute gentleman and played a vital role each year judging Ireland’s’ National Cocktail Championship. He was always willing to give freely of his time to assist young bartenders in their career development. He was an expert judge and successfully played a part in selecting National Cocktail Champions who went on to become International Award Winning Bartenders”.
The following are 3 quotes from the many people who sent their sympathies:
“Such a nice friend & efficient colleague at ASI.
We shared such fantastic moments in various places around the world & of course in Ireland” (France)
“We lose a good colleague & friend. A true gentleman of the Wine World. Oliver will be dearly missed. All our hearts go out to his family & friends.” (Argentina)
“Oliver Murtagh was a consummate hospitality industry professional, an inspirer of Irish sommeliers, a masterful organiser and, above all, a gentleman”. (Ireland)
Tributes from: Argentina, Portugal, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Cyprus, Denmark, Italy, Romania, Albania, Turkey, USA, Belgium, Montenegro, France, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Greece, Zimbabwe, Ireland + others.
Oliver will be sadly missed by his sisters Annette and Patricia (Salesian Sisters), cousins, neighbours and many friends and the entire membership of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers. He was its guiding light for a long number of years. He was known to the entire wine trade & had a great personal relationship with its representatives.
May Oliver RIP 7/1/2020
The death has occurred of Oliver MURTAGH Date of Death: Monday 3rd February 2020
Formerly of Cherry Court, Terenure (suddenly). Predeceased by his father Nicholas and mother Mary. Will be sadly missed by his sisters Annette and Patricia (Salesian Sisters), cousins, neighbours and many friends.
Reposing at Fanagans Funeral Home, Lower Kimmage Road on Thursday evening from 5.30 to 7.30. Removal on Friday morning to the Church of St. Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus arriving for 11.30 Funeral Mass followed by burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Collinstown, Co. Westmeath arriving approximately 14.00 hrs.