26 Jun 2022

Horse and Jockey Hotel owner Tom Egan bids farewell to his old friend John Dunne

John Dunne worked as Head Chef at the H&J for 32 years

Horse and Jocker Hotel owner Tom Egan bids farewell to his old friend, tragic hillwalker John Dunne

Tom Egan, centre, outside the Horse and Jockey, where John Dunne worked as head chef for 32 years

Moyne and Thurles are united in grief this week for chef and hillwalker John Dunne, who died in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks in County Kerry last week.

Horse & Jockey Hotel owner Tom Egan paid his respects to his old friend, who worked there as Head Chef for 32 years.

“We were great friends, and he was such a reliable person,” Mr Egan told the Tipperary Star.

“He was a rock here really. He never missed a day, except for his mother’s funeral.”

John was “a brilliant chef. He had a real flare.” He worked in large hotels in London, Switzerland, and on cruise ships such as the QEII.

“He was always learning, looking up recipe books. He was a great man to innovate and he loved his job. He was always excited, he’d relish coming in on busy days.

“John thrived on the buzz of this place. He was very popular with the staff, had great patience, and was great to train young people in, and help them with advice and assistance. He always kept in touch with people who left over the years. He had a magic about him,” said Mr Egan.

Mr Dunne, formerly of Lisdonowley, Moyne, and more recently of the Mullans, Dublin Road, Thurles, was a regular visitor to the mountains of Kerry which friends say he regarded as his spiritual homestead.

Gardaí mounted a search for 60-year-old Mr Dunne, on Wednesday, June 1.

His last known whereabouts were in the Lisleibane area of Beaufort, County Kerry where it’s believed he went for a hike on a local mountain trail that afternoon. Extensive searches were conducted by Kerry Mountain Rescue in conjunction with An Garda Síochána and other official rescue services.
The search was called off on Friday morning, following the discovery of his body by Kerry Mountain Rescue.

Deputy Jackie Cahill TD extended his sympathies, saying “our thoughts are with John’s family his wife Mary, son Eoin and his many friends especially all his work colleagues in the Horse & Jockey Hotel.”

John is predeceased by his parents Denis and Josie.
John will be greatly missed by his heartbroken family, wife Mary, son Eoin, brothers Joe and Ned, nephew, nieces, sister-in-law Ita, uncles Jim and Mick, aunts Josie and Maureen, relatives, Tom Egan and colleagues in the Horse and Jockey Hotel, neighbours and many friends.

Members of the public can pay their respects at Hugh Ryan’s Funeral Home, Slievenamon Road, Thurles, where he will Repose on Wednesday, June 8, from 5pm to 7.30pm, arriving at the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles, on Thursday, June 9, at 10.30am, for Requiem Mass at 11am.
Burial afterwards in St Peter’s Cemetery, Moycarkey, Thurles, via the Horse and Jockey.
The Mass can be viewed at

Sympathies can be also expressed in the condolence section online at
Family flowers only, donations, if desired, to Kerry Mountain Rescue and South Eastern Mountain Rescue.

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