Neilus was very prominent in Killarney tourism and business

The late Neilus O’Connell: Affable, witty, friendly and had a great charm

The death has occurred in Killarney of Neilus O’Connell who was a very well-known and well-liked business and tourism personality in the town for many years.

He managed the Old Kentucky Group of restaurants for several years and was particularly associated with The Stella on Main Street which was a very popular port of call for locals and visitors in the 1970s and 80s.

Affable, witty, friendly and possessing a great charm, Neilus was very popular with all those he encountered and the numerous staff he employed over the years still speak very fondly of their days working together under his guidance. In the earlier years, he also worked for quite some time in the Killarney Great Southern Hotel.

Neilus always had a very keen interest in the promotion of Killarney and he was very prominent on Killarney Tourism Council alongside the late Michael Courtney, Dermot O’Callaghan and Ronan Fleming, always seeking ways to showcase Killarney in the best possible light.

Neilus had great affection for Dr Crokes GAA Club

He possessed a great singing voice and was capable of a mean impersonation of Elvis Presley. An accomplished drummer, Neilus was part of the Southern Folk dance band who performed in cabaret in the Great Southern Hotel over the years and he later established his own band, The Spotlights, with Christy O’Connor, Dermot Moynihan and Mike Moynihan.

Neilus also starred in several shows in Top of the Town which was a smash hit variety show competition in Killarney in the 1970s.

He was a passionate supporter of Dr Crokes GAA Club, seldom missing a game and enjoying the pre-and post-match analysis with friends in the club’s social headquarters The Tatler Jack.

Predeceased by his son Niall, Neilus is survived by his wife, Mella, daughters Aisling and Niamh and sons Diarmuid and Ronan.

He is further survived by his son-in-law and children’s partners Mat, Cormac and Sandy, grandchildren Jake, Danny, Sam, Mella and Conall, brother Michael, sisters Mary, Margaret and Kathleen, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and many friends.

Reposing at O’Shea’s Funeral Home, Killarney this Sunday from 4.00pm to 6.00pm will be followed by removal to St Mary’s Cathedral.

Requiem Mass for Neilus will be held at 10.30am on Monday followed by cremation on Tuesday at the Island Crematorium, Cork at 1.00pm. The Requiem Mass can be live streamed on the following link Read by thousands of people every day: Call 064-6631281 or 087-2229761