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Skal “Father of Irish Tourism” Joseph Noel Malone passed away

Skal “Father of Irish Tourism” Joseph Noel Malone passed away

Joe Malone passed away today surrounded by his family. He was 6 days shy of reaching his 86th birthday. 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.

Joe was the 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); and brother to Maureen, Marguerite and Aine. He was pre-deceased by daughter Sherie, and brother Liam, grandfather to Ashley, Heather, Jake, Chase, Gavin, Declan, Meghan, Brandon and Liam, and great grandfather to Charlie, Erik, Alex, John, and Scott, plus his myriad of nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews in Ireland, and his circle of friends and business colleagues worldwide.


Memorial services will be held in Rye, New York, on Saturday, December 10, 2016, at 9:45 am, 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 Street, New York, N.Y. 10021, www.hssk.edu ; or Arthritis Ireland, 1 Clanwilliam Square, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland. http://www.arthritisireland.ie/ Condolence and mass Cards may be sent to: Imelda Malone, 16 Water’s Edge, Rye, NY 10580.

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