THE OWNER of a beloved Irish restaurant in New York City has passed away after contracting Covid-19.
Donegal woman Kathleen McNulty founded the Irish Cottage Restaurant with her late husband almost 60 years ago, with the Irish natives setting up shop in Forest Hills, Queens.
Her son, Danny, took to the Irish Cottage's Facebook page in April to break the sad news to her loyal customers and friends, and said the restaurant would be closing permanently.
“It is with a heavy heart that my family has to bring you all the sad news of the passing of my mother Kathleen Elizabeth McNulty," Danny wrote.
"She was a true Donegal woman who truly loved her job of filling up your hearts with 59 years of good times and cheers.”
In tribute to Kathleen, Danny urged anyone who wished to send flowers to instead "donate to a cause of your choosing to combat this epidemic we all are facing today", and added "most of all we are asking you all to please remain safe".
Last week, Danny had another difficult announcement to make with the news that his mother's beloved restaurant would remain closed for good.
"60 years of good cheer," the post began.
"My mom would say there's no use crying in your beer.
"May the fond memories & good times shared by our patrons in the Irish Cottage burn bright in their hearts forever more".
Tributes to both the bar and Kathleen McNulty flooded in from devastated customers, with many sharing the good times they had had in the Irish Cottage Restaurant over the years.
"This is the spot where I had my first date with my now husband," one woman, Diana Illanes, wrote. "Thank you for the awesome memories."
"So many memories at the Cottage and loved speaking with Kathleen and seeing her beautiful smiling face," Marge Brennan wrote in tribute. "She is loved, RIP and will miss the Cottage.
"Good luck to you all in the future."
While Kathleen's sad passing played a part in the closure, the restaurant had also struggled to keep on top due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the state and city.
Danny explained to local outlet The Forest Hills Post that they were unsuccessful in their application for a bailout and so the business, set up by his late mother and father almost 60 years ago, would sadly be no more.
The state of New York was the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, with over 343,000 cases and 22,170 deaths.
The Irish Cottage is, sadly, just one of thousands of businesses which will not be reopening due to financial strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.