Tributes paid to late ‘irreplacable’ face of Whelan’s

by Rachel Darcy

Tributes have flooded in for the ‘keeper of the gate’ of Whelan’s, Joe Nicholson, who passed away last week.

Joe was recognised by many as the face of Whelans, as he often manned the box office of the iconic Wicklow Street venue.

Many tributes remarked on how the popular gentleman was regarded as a friendly face, and a true supporter of music.

He passed away following a short illness on April 17, with his funeral held on April 20 in Harold’s Cross.

Social media was flooded with condolences from many prominent names on the Irish cultural scene, including Dublin band Villagers, comedian Alison Spittle and singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow.

Taking to Twitter, Villagers wrote: “When I first started playing shows in Whelans with The Immediate, Joe took me aside one night and said, ‘Hey, you guys have got something! I wasn’t sure at first but I really think you’re ok!’

“I’m paraphrasing, but the point being that I got the feeling that he wasn’t a man of empty platitudes and for that reason his moderate enthusiasm for our music was all the more meaningful to me.

“Later on, when we sold out Whelans, he came up to me and said: ‘Better this time … I knew you guys had something’. Rest well, Joe; thanks for the realness and the kindness.”

Whelan’s promoter, Dave Allen, said that Joe was irreplaceable, having worked at the cult venue since the 1990s.

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

Related Articles