Hugh Coyle: a gracious and caring host

An Appreciation

Hugh Coyle: a name synonymous with the concern to which he had devoted his life’s work,  the Renvyle House Hotel

Hugh Coyle: a name synonymous with the concern to which he had devoted his life’s work, the Renvyle House Hotel

 

Hugh O’Connell Coyle, who was laid to rest recently in his beloved Connemara, had achieved the rare distinction of becoming synonymous with the concern to which he had devoted his life’s work – the Renvyle House Hotel. No matter that he had relinquished that crusade many years since, the association remains an indelible memory in the minds of so many who were fortunate to enjoy his hospitality. The hordes who converged on Renvyle House to celebrate his sadly shortened life bore eloquent witness to his character and personality.

In a sense it was strangely fitting that Hugh should take his leave of us during the most prolonged heatwave since 1976. For to those of us of a certain age the summer of 1976 was the most sociable, the most hedonistic of our lives. Was it the endless heatwave? Was it the age we were as Hugh’s contemporaries, life’s fellow travellers?

Whatever the reasons, Hugh Coyle was the right man in the right place, at the right time; the perfect fit.

More than a gracious, caring host, Hugh Coyle was a born entertainer, for whom the night was forever young.

Armed with his guitar and an endless repertoire, Hugh ensured that those bar tills kept on ringing for as long as his enthusiastic carousers had the wherewithal to call for “The same again. And again. And again.”

Regular visitors knew better than to accept any bedroom within earshot of that raucous bar, with Hugh’s gripping renditions of “Are you the Francis Farrelly?

Dessie O’Malley and his late wife Pat were loyal patrons of Renvyle House. He and Pat piled their numerous brood into the trusty Mini, braving the Inagh Valley to reach their goal. Renvyle House in Hugh’s reign saw the birth of Dessie’s breakaway political party, the Progressive Democrats. Bobby and Phyllis Molloy, Seamus and Ann Brennan, Danno and Mary were frequent customers.

Ever ahead of his time in consolidating his customer base, Hugh pioneered and successfully promoted the Renvyle time-sharing homes just across Renvyle Lake.

Perhaps it was Hugh’s impish sense of humour that saw his death notice in The Irish Times listed not as Coyle, but O’Connell Coyle.

At any event, Ronnie – his successor in Renvyle House – duly reported that Hugh had been laid to rest with “a copy of The Irish Times, and his favourite driver”. No, no, think golf. To Hugh’s familiy we offer our sympathies. To Hugh himself, grateful thanks for memories guaranteed to last us all our days.