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'One of the unsung heroes': Tributes after death of Whelan's 'gatekeeper' Joe Nicholson

Nicholson as been described as someone who deeply loved live music.

TRIBUTES ARE BEING shared from music fans and people within the Irish music industry following the death of Joe Nicholson, who manned the door at Dublin nightspot Whelan’s. 

Nicholson died peacefully yesterday following a short illness and staff at the famed music venue have said he will be “irreplaceable”.

A fixture in Whelan’s since the nineties, Nicholson also worked for years as a tour manager for bands in the Irish music scene. 

“He’s pretty much irreplaceable, part of the furniture really,” Whelan’s promoted Dave Allen said upon the sad news today. 

He’s been involved in Whelan’s since the nineties, and it’s a bit of a shock to us all. He was determined to work, we knew he was unwell but he was kind of hiding it quite well  and he was determined to work, he was working in the last week and a half.

“I think he lived to work, doing the door, listening to the music and seeing all the bands. He was probably the most important job in the place, the first point of contact because he did the box office, so anyone who came to a gig in Whelan’s would remember him for that.”

“He is part of the Irish music industry as well, he’s one of the unsung heroes so to speak,” Allen added.

In a post to Facebook, Whelan’s said that his love of music shined through his work.

Joe loved working at Whelan’s and had a massive love for music. He cherished listening to all the bands gracing our stage, discovering new music with bands playing the first time and listening to the many legends who keep returning. A good gig causing great excitement and enthusiasm in him.

“Joe was involved in many aspects of the music industry outside of Whelan’s over the years. Working with so many great bands. His loss will touch many people.”

Tweeting sympathies this afternoon, musicians and fans alike have shared their memories of Joe.

Nicholson is survived by his wife Theresa, two daughters and three grandchildren.

His funeral service will take place at 3.30pm on Saturday at Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold’s Cross.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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