December 3, 2022

‘A prankster, a gentle giant of the hotel industry’ – staff pay emotional tribute to much-loved Kilkenny hotelier

STAFF at the Avalon House Hotel have paid an moving tribute to their boss, the much-loved hotelier Joe Comerford, following his sudden and untimely death.

Mr Comerford, who only opened the beautiful hotel with his wife Julie in his hometown of Castlecomer two months ago, passed away at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin last Saturday.

Staff at the hotel this morning paid tribute to “a very special man” as details of his funeral arrangements were confirmed.

“Joe Comerford, the beloved boss man, was a man with an amazing presence. He was a leader, a friend to us all, a shoulder to lean on, a prankster and a gentle giant of the hotel industry to work for and with,” they said in a statement posted on social media.

“Each and every one of us enjoyed every minute of our rollercoaster experience with Joe and his family. We may have been his staff members but the relationship that each and every one of us had with Joe truly was a lesson in the best of life’s skills.

“Then the bottom fell out of our beautiful experience. Our community was shattered, as what we hoped would be a marathon with a man of magic turned out to be a mere sprint. It will take a lifetime to get over this one.

“Joe, we will ensure that the great gift you gave to this town will forever and a day be Castlecomer’s fulcrum of beauty. On behalf of all the staff at the Avalon House Hotel, we sympathise with the entire Comerford family on their loss. Joe, we thank you for everything you did for each and every one of us. We will miss you dearly but you will always be with us in spirit.

“Your legacy will live on forever!”

Mr Comerford, of The Old Rectory, The Square, Castlecomer, will repose at his home from 11am tomorrow, with Vigil Prayers and Rosary said at 8pm.

Funeral prayers will be said on Friday morning at 10am, followed by his removal to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Castlecomer for Requiem Mass at 11am. Burial will take place afterwards at the nearby Crosshill Cemetery.

His funeral notice said Mr Comerford will be “sadly missed by his loving wife Julie, daughter Jane, sons Jimmy, John and Derek, brothers Michael, Paddy, Tommy and Aidan, sisters Nancy, Geraldine, Moira, Kitty, Margaret and Pauline, mother-in-law Lil, grandchild J.J., brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces, extended family, and a large circle of friends.”

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