By David Hennessy
The Irish community in Manchester is mourning the death of Brendan Clarke who passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Thursday 26 December.
Brendan was known for being involved in the Tyrone Association in Manchester and organising the Tyrone float for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He was also a big supporter of the Irish World Heritage Centre.
Martin Logan, committee member of Irish World Heritage Centre, told The Irish World: “He will be very sadly missed here in Manchester. He was loved by all, I would say.
“I knew Brendan for a long time and I have to say he was a true gentleman. Everybody says that about people who pass away but honestly he was a really nice person, everybody liked him in Manchester.
“He was a great GAA supporter. When I worked for Irish TV here in Manchester, we brought the Sam Maguire Cup over to the Irish World Heritage Centre and when Brendan got word of this, he was the very first one there to raise the Sam Maguire Cup and of course say, ‘Up Tyrone!’
“I can remember the first time Tyrone won the All-Ireland in 2003, Brendan was absolutely delighted, he was so excited and led the celebrations.
“And of course when they won the two All-Irelands in 2005 and 2008, there was no prouder man in Manchester than Brendan Clarke honestly, he was a very proud Tyrone man.
“Of course he was heavily involved in the St Patrick’s Day Parade, always leading the way with the Tyrone banner out in front, he was a great supporter of Tyrone.
“He was a really nice family man, well liked by everybody and I have to say he was a great man for supporting charities because all charities and good works were supported by Brendan.
“He was a great supporter of Irish community here in Manchester for many many years. He did a lot of great work here in Manchester.
“He was a great supporter of Irish World Heritage Centre because he used to go to the old centre and then when we moved from the old centre in 2014 into our new Irish World Heritage Centre, Brendan was one of the main people there again doing work behind the scenes and helping out.
“If you wanted to meet Brendan, you would know where to meet him. You would meet him at the Irish World Heritage Centre.”
The announcement brought an outpouring of condolences on social media. Bernie Ni Mhurchu posted: “A good gentle man with a lovely sense of humour, and great friend of my own Father long passed. I’m sure they’re enjoying a good meet up in Heaven. Our heartfelt condolences to the Clarke family and all Brendan’s friends, Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”
Pat Greasley added: “Ah so sad to hear this. The Irish Community in Manchester in general and the Tyrone Association in particular have lost a thoroughly decent, hard working ambassador.0 Deepest sympathy to all the family. Am proud to have known you, Brendan. Rest in Peace.”