The Irish Guild of Sommeliers has confirmed the unexpected passing of its President Oliver J. Murtagh on February 3, 2020. Murtagh was a beloved figure on both the national and international stage. Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers, offered this eulogy: “[Oliver] was totally dedicated to the hospitality industry… 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 Irish Guild of Sommeliers uniform and the chain of office which he wore with distinction.”
Oliver had a reputation for perpetually dressing in black tie and appeared to know everyone’s name and what they drank. While the latter skill seemed like genius to those whom he had just met, it reflected his well-honed skills of observation and inferences about the selection of wines and other beverages. Oliver will be remembered for his encouragement, care and kindness and sorely missed by those who knew him.
As one might only say in memory of an Irish sommelier extraordinaire: Oliver has left us for a glass of wine with angels in heaven. Rest in peace, friend.