Glowing tributes were paid to former Dundalk FC Chairman and local business man Des Denning, who died suddenly last Monday night.
In a large attendance at St Patrick’s Catherdral, Father Padraig Keenanpaid tribute to a man he described as ‘the people’s chairman’.
A man of ‘focus’ and ‘ambition’ was described to those in attendance. Tributes were also paid to the hard work he put into both Dundalk FC as chairman and into his insurance business, Denning Insurance Ltd on Bridge Street.
The winnin g of the FAI Cup in 2002 was described as his crowning moment as chairman, saying that he had brought the club back to the glory days of its past.
While he had big part to play in world of Dundalk FC, it was noted that he enjoyed a private life of relative solitude with his wife and ‘best friend’ Regina at their home at 17 Castle Road.
“Des has pleased many with his time among us,” said Father Keenan. “We can now imagine him smiling down from a heavenly place.
“The image of the final whistle will have created many emotions for Des. Today the final whistle has been blown on his earthly existence.”
Tributes were paid to the work of paramedics and staff at Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda who treated Mr Denning when he was taken ill.
Earlier in the week Dundalk FC said in a statement: “Everybody at Dundalk Football Club is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of our former Chairman Des Denning.
“Des was a true friend of everybody at Dundalk FC and was always there to offer advice and support to everybody at the club. A proud Chairman for four years, Des was at the helm when Dundalk won the 2001 First Division Championship and the 2002 FAI Cup.
“We send our condolences to his family and many friends. Des’ partner, Regina, is still a very important part of our club and we send our support to her at this very sad time.”
Mr Denning is survived by Regina, his sister May, brothers Michael, Sean and Brendan and sisters-in-law Kathleen and Ann, aswell as Carmel, Seamus, Miriam and the extended O’Hare family and all his nieces, nephews, relatives and large circle of friends.
Originally from Virginia, County Cavan, Des was educated Saint Patrick’s College Cavan. He played intermediate football with Lurgan and senior with Ramor, Gaelic football was his first love and retained his strong links with Virginia.
He came to Dundalk with New Ireland Assurance Company Set up Bogan and Denning which then became Denning Insurances. He was President of the Insurance Institute of Dundalk.
He was heavily involved in the sporting life of the town. Besides his soccer commitment, he also played golf and was a member of Dundalk Golf club, serving on the council, and represented the club at inter club level on Pierce Purcell and Jimmy Bruen Shield foursomes competitions also in the Provincial Towns singles event, and attained a single handicap.