Sad news, Joe Malone, 1930 –2016, formerly of Bord Fáilte, has died


Sad news, Joe Malone, December 13, 1930 – December 7, 2016, formerly of Bord Fáilte, has died. Sharon Malone posted the following obituary:

When your days on Earth are over
And your upward path is trod
May your name in gold be written
In the autograph of God
By: Bill ‘Pop’ O’ Mara

December 7, 2016.

Rye, New York – Joe Malone passed away today surrounded by his family. Beloved husband to Imelda Malone (60 years), most loved Dad to Sharon, Sandra (George Pratt), Joseph Jr., Gina (Paul Fitzmaurice), Meldie (Bruce Moore), and Jennifer (John Eckerson). Brother to Maureen, Marguerite and Aine. Pre-deceased by daughter Sherie, and brother Liam. Grandfather to Ashley, Heather, Jake, Chase, Gavin, Declan, Meghan, Brandon and Liam…Great Grandfather to Charlie, Erik, Alex, John, and Scott.

Our amazing patriarch has left us for heaven while surrounded by all his family, and he will be missed by all of us, plus his myriad of nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews in Ireland; and his circle of friends and business colleagues worldwide.

Born in Breaffy, Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland. ‘Joe’ paved a path to success and is often referred to as the ‘Father of Irish Tourism’.   His path from Breaffy to New York, and beyond, began with a career in the car rental business as Managing Director of Ryan’s Car Rental in Dublin. Four years later he established Malone Brothers Car Rental.  From there he took a short sojourn in the work for disabled and under-privileged by accepting a position as Chairman of The National Rehabilitation Board, became allied with UNICEF, founded Arthritis Ireland and was an executive officer in the Lions Club Dublin. Recruited by the Irish Tourist Board in 1967 he moved the family to Rye, New York, and undertook the monumental task of putting Ireland on the Tourism map. In 1976 he was promoted to Director General of the Irish Tourist Board and moved the family back to Dublin.  His amazing energy and vision placed Ireland on the tourism map and increased inbound visitors by an incredible 82% during his tenure. Ireland continues to enjoy some of the highest tourism revenues worldwide as a result of his marketing and sales skills.

Of the many accolades he received during his career he was most proud of Mayoperson of the Year: New York 1973, Chicago 1974, and Dublin, Ireland in 1976. In addition, he was elected World President of his beloved Skål Club International in Istanbul in 1970. He also held an Executive Officer position at the Lions Club in Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales.

Memorial services will be held in Rye, NY on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 9:45am, Resurrection Church, Rye, NY 10580; and in Breaffy, Castlebar, County Mayo in early 2017. In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations be made to either of the following organizations in the name of Joseph Malone: Arthritis Foundation Research, Lehman Fund, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). 535 E. 70th St  New York, N.Y. 10021,; or Arthritis Ireland, 1 Clanwilliam Square, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland. Condolence and mass Cards may be sent to; Imelda Malone, 16 Water’s Edge, Rye, NY 10580.


This is a message form Margaret Cahil for the memorial service:

Co Kerry.
9th December 2016.

Dear Imelda and all the Malone family,

Today is a sad day for all of us, whether with you in spirit or in person. It is an occasion to bring us all together to celebrate the life and work of Joe Malone.

I worked with Joe for a couple of decades in the US and also in the U.K.  The first time Joe really notice me was when I was a junior in our New York Office.  One day Joe arrived into our building in his usual whirl wind manner and in a rush!  He stopped at our desks to engage with a number of travel advisors.  He sought our opinion on the latest advertising campaign just launched for vacationing in Ireland.  I had the temerity to disagree with the strategy and execution.  Joe was not pleased with my reaction to say the least.  However I believe in retrospect he appreciated and admired that one of his staff had the conviction of her beliefs and was not reticent about voicing them.

Joe had the reputation for being a demanding and tough boss.  He possessed these qualities and more.  He was so quick of mind and deed that he did not have patience to wait for those not on his wave length to catch up.  I loved working with him.  I felt challenged every day.  I knew I always needed to bring my A game to every meeting and to anticipate his insightful questions.

As my career progressed, and as an Irish female public servant, I was seen as one who broke gender and employment barriers.  Joe basked in my success.  I sometimes thought of him as a proud father delighted with his protégée.  Joe was my boss, mentor and friend.

Joe was aware that many of us who worked in New York at that time were living away from our homeland.  He frequently included us in social or family events.  Imelda and his family were our family.  I had the  privilege of being present for many happy, landmark and sometimes sad occasions in the Malone family. My heartfelt sympathy and love goes to this family today. 

I currently spend part of my life in one of Ireland’s most beautiful counties – Kerry. On retirement from full-time employment a few years ago I was invited to become a member of the SKAL Club of Kerry.  I have served as SKAL President for Kerry and in March will assume the role as SKAL President for Ireland.  I know Joe would be in his element to see me ware the SKAL chain of office for Ireland.

He blazed a trail for Irish tourism and for us who were able to keep up with him.  I will never forget Joe Malone and his family.

Margaret Cahill,
9 Ross Castle Grove
Ross Road
Co Kerry.






Leave A Reply