The death of television personality and popular food critic Paolo Tullio has been deeply mourned by many people in the Glasson area, near Athlone.
Mr Tullio, who died last week aged 65, was a popular food critic on TV3’s The Restaurant.
The Wineport Lodge in Glasson is the restaurant at the cenre of the programme and staff there have been greatly saddened by Paulo’s death.
“Paolo was a lovely man, and a gentle, warm soul,” said Ray Byrne, the co-owner. “He was always great company, happy to chat at 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning and ever good-humoured.
“Paolo was unusually well-liked for a restaurant critic: he was always encouraging and very fair.
“Having been a restauranteur himself, he knew the blood, sweat and tears that went into creating a great restaurant. And he went out of his way to encourage everyone in the business, young and old.”
A celebrated critic and chef, Mr Tullio is a native of Frosinone, Italy, and moved to Ireland in 1968 to study at Trinity College, Dublin. He entered the restaurant business in the late 1970s. He lived in Annamore, Co. Wicklow, where he passed away peacefully last week, following a short illness.
“The entire restaurant community in Ireland will miss him,” added Mr Byrne, of the Wineport Lodge.