Killarney saw no show like a Joe show

Joe Doyle launching his charity CD, for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, at his 70th birthday party in the Killarney Avenue Hotel last April.
Picture: Eamonn Keogh

THERE was no show quite like a Joe show as mourners at the late Joe Doyle’s Requiem Mass were reminded this morning when warm and emotional tributes were paid to the hugely popular Killarney man who passed away, after an illness, at the weekend.

In an emotion-charged tribute at the close of the ceremony in St Mary’s Cathedral, Joe’s close friend, Mary O’Sullivan, who was one of those to care for him during his illness, recalled that he was the life and soul of any gathering; first to sing, first to dance but last to go home.

She said despite his long stay in hospital, Joe was always in good humour, keeping up the spirits of other patients, nurses, doctors and staff through his sense of fun and his caring nature.

“Everyone, including all his fellow patients, were all the better for experiencing the Joe Show,” Mary said.

“Despite the serious nature of his illness, Joe always believed he would get better as he had things to do, places to go, people to meet and he was anxious to pass on his love of life and his love of people,” she added.

His positive outlook, even in his darkest hours, was an example to all and something that should be remembered, the congregation was told.

Joe thoroughly enjoyed his last Christmas when he was allowed to leave the hospital to spend the celebrations with his loved ones and he also took the time to visit his beloved home place where the local Masterheeha soccer club – which he helped to form in 1979 – and the local people were such a huge part of his life.

Close to the top of Joe’s life bucket list was to visit the Holy Land and he was delighted to get there. And, even though he wasn’t too impressed by the Italian cuisine, he had a truly wonderful time.

Joe was a founder member of Mastergeeha FC in 1979

But Joe, who lived in Knockeragh, Spa, had the greatest time of all when he recorded and released a CD of five of his own songs to mark his 70th birthday last April. Generous to the core, rather than accepting gifts, he asked the many friends invited to his bumper party to buy the CD to raise funds for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Gentle Joe was a legendary personality on the local soccer scene and he was a long-serving and hugely efficient treasurer of Mastergeeha FC.

Club PRO, Tadhg Brosnan, said it was with great sadness that they learned of the death of the founder member of the club.

“Every year he has worked tirelessly to support the club. Joe was an honest and straight-talking person who had many friends. He never spoke unkindly about anybody,” said Tadhg.

“He was always prepared to listen to the problems of others and help out in any way he could. Joe will be greatly missed by all in the club and in the wider soccer network in Kerry,” he added.

Predeceased by his mother Margaret and his brothers Frank and Jim, Joe is survived by his brother Paddy, sister-in-law Patricia, his aunt Lily, the Greene, O’Sullivan, O’Leary, Lucey, Nagle and Bruton families, his nieces and nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, relatives, neighbours, his club-mates in Mastergeeha FC and a large circle of friends.

He was laid to rest this afternoon in Holy Cross Cemetery, Kilcummin.