Jody Gysling, who passed away in late December, was a visionary hotelier who transformed a Donegal swamp into one of Ireland’s most awarded hotels.
Jody is pictured with brother Marc and Deirdre McGlone.
The Swiss-born electronics sales executive came to Ireland in 1983 in search of a ‘cottage by a lake’ as a holiday home. He settled on a site at Harvey’s Point on Lough Eske, Co. Donegal with water-logged land and a small house. Over the next five years, Jody singe-handedly reclaimed the land and developed the cottage into a guest-house.
The business grew and Jodi was joined by his younger brother Marc, who took charge of the kitchen. Marc later met and married local girl Deirdre McGlone, who was then a receptionist at the hotel. Together the ‘Three Musketeers’ developed Harvey’s Point Hotel, adding some of the largest guest rooms in Ireland, lounges and bars and an extensive banqueting suite which hosts weddings and the annual Harvey’s Point Summer Cabaret.
Harvey’s Point Hotel has received dozens of awards including AA Hotel of the Year, Georgina Campbell Hotel of the Year and was for seven successive years Trip Advisor No 1. Hotel in Ireland.
While Marc moved between kitchen and marketing and Deirdre was ever-present in the hotel and on promotions, Jody remained in the background, devising strategy and developing innovative building projects.
The Gysling family retired from the industry in 2019 when they sold Harvey’s Point Hotel.
Wise, witty and warm-hearted, he had a great love for horses and the outdoors, was a loving husband to Renate, guide and mentor to Marc and Deirdre and a doting grandfather to Carl, James and Cristina.
He is sadly missed.