Tributes paid to ‘leader and icon’ following death of Shelbourne Hotel head concierge

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Tributes have been paid to the “leader and icon” of the Irish hospitality industry following his death.

Denis O’Brien, the head concierge of The Shelbourne Hotel, died on Wednesday leaving behind a heartbroken family. Mr O’Brien was a much-loved figure in the hospitality sector with many praising him as a “mentor, leader, trailblazer, and confidant”.

Mr O’Brien started his career in Eyre Square in Galway and he moved on to the likes of The Central Hotel in Dublin and Druids Glen before establishing himself as the head concierge at The Shelbourne Hotel. He was also the international president of Les Clefs d’Or Ireland who paid a heartfelt tribute to Mr O’Brien following his death.

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Speaking on their Facebook page, they said: “Denis wore the prestigious Golden Keys of his beloved Clefs d’Or with immense pride and ambition which would eventually lead to him placing our tiny Island firmly on the Clefs d’Or map by becoming International President, a feat not achieved before or since.

“To us, his friends and colleagues, he was a mentor, leader, trailblazer, confidant, wind-up merchant and best friend, someone who inspired and to whom we aspired to be like. The O’Brien family have lost their Denis.

“Clefs d’Or has lost a leader and Irish hospitality has lost an icon but his legacy is with the guests who have left Ireland having experienced the care and attention of one of our great ambassadors. R.I.P our dear friend.”

Well-wishers turned up in droves to remember Mr O’Brien with one person saying: “Met and spoke to him in the Shelbourne Hotel. Such a lovely man so full of knowledge. Will be missed. May he rest in peace Condolences to his family and staff in the Shelbourne.”

Another person added: “So sad to hear about Denis Tc O’Brien he was such a lovely person and true gent. I was lucky enough to have worked with Denis for a short time.

“He made everyone he met feel so special and I loved saying hi to him anytime I visited the Shelbourne. RIP Denis.”

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