Tributes paid to Parnell’s founder Denis Brosnan

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Former Mayor of Brent Jim O’Sullivan has led tributes to Denis Brosnan, a founder of Parnell’s Gaelic Football Club who died on Sunday after a long illness.

Kerryman Denis, who came to London from his native Currow in Castleisland, died peacefully at his home in Harlesden, north west London, aged 84.

He is survived by his wife Joan, sons Michael and Robert, daughter Marion, ten grandchildren, daughters-in-law Jackie and Tracey, brothers Sean and Tom, sisters Sheila and Peggy and a very, very wide circle of family and friends.

Mr Brosnan was a blacksmith when he arrived in London from his native Kerry in January 1953 and switched trade to become a welder with Rolls Royce engineering. After a serious burn to his leg he worked at many jobs in a long working life.

He was Life President of the London GAA Golf Society, a member of the Waterford Golf Society in London and a founder member of the Parnell’s GAA Football Club and a member of North Middlesex Golf Club.

Fellow Kerryman and Pioneer total abstainer Jim O’Sullivan said he and Denis had been friends for 45 years dating back to when they first arrived in London and became involved in fundraising efforts to help keep three young children in Kerry, who had lost their mother and father, together as a family.

“Denis was very involved and very committed and dedicated and achieved a lot. The Irish community in London was very close-knit back then and very caring and he was a tremendous example of that.

“He was a charming and excellent fellow, a Pioneer who didn’t need any help to give him that charm. We will all miss him because he was such an excellent person. He wore his Pioneer badge with great pride,” said Mr. O’Sullivan.

Captain of the London GAA Golf Society Tim Foley also paid tribute and said there were not enough hours in the day to describe everything Denis had done in his lifetime. He said he would be sorely missed.

“For many years he ran the Kerry Hostel in Harlesden for fellas who were a bit down on their luck. He was always pleasant and nice to everybody and helped anybody if he could,” said Mr. Foley.

“When he retired he started a minicab firm and he was always a sane, sober presence at the wheel travelling at a steady and sedate pace for any of the lads after a social. He and his wife, who were married 55 years, never missed a summer holiday in Ireland in all that time,” he added.

Publisher of the Irish World Paddy Cowan, and Mrs. Sadie Cowan, also expressed their heartfelt sympathies to the family on their loss.

  • The deceased will be reposing at Patrick Ryan & Daughter Funeral Directors 49 Oldfield Lane South, Greenford UB6 9LB from Friday evening 16th January until 4pm on Sunday 18th.

    Removal to Sacred Heart Church, Quex Rd, Kilburn, London NW6 4PS on Sunday 18th January at 5.30pm.

    The funeral Mass will take place on Monday 19th January at 10am followed by burial at Kensal Green cemetery, London W10 4RA.

    May he rest in peace.



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