So many of us have been shocked at the loss of our beloved friend Alan Duffy.
In a community that can boast a wealth of cool, quirky and colourful characters, Alan was a stylish, kind and witty gentleman who made an impression on everyone he met.
I first met Alan 25 years ago. We were both new arrivals to the Dublin scene. Once I introduced him to Brendan Courtney, who I had also just met, the three of us quickly became inseparable partners-in-crime. With Alan, we forged a group of weird and wonderful friends that were central to the 1990’s queer scene. In 1997, we were onstage together when Shirley Temple Bar was crowned Alternative Miss Ireland. Over the years, Alan was at the heart of the AMI family and was ‘front of house’ raising funds for LGBT charities it supported.
Alan was the life and soul of the party – and there were many parties!For partygoers of a certain age, no night was complete until a dapper Alan came through the door with some unwaxed lemons, a bottle of Tanqueray gin and his trademark greeting: “Morning!”
He loved an occasion and could turn even a mundane visit to the supermarket into an event. He saw beauty and value in things that so many of us never noticed, much to his bemusement. His ability to lavish attention into tasks and onto people earned him a unique reputation in his career as a restauranteur, which began in his family business in Donegal.
Alan worked in many of Dublin’s top restaurants, particularly at the Unicorn as Maître D’. His fussy attention to detail and delight in holding court drew the attention of some regular customers who headhunted him to manage a new restaurant in their resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Alan left us for the sun, but he brought back the sunshine every time he arrived home.
Alan passed away suddenly on Friday 17 March at his home in Providenciales. He was 46. Our sympathies go to his father, brothers and sister, and their families. He will be greatly missed.
Alan’s funeral will be held Tuesday morning, 11.30am at St Patrick’s Church, Donegal Town.
Words by Declan Buckley. Image: Mary Furlong.