Longford town lost a very dear friend last Thursday with the sudden passing of Dessie Brennan (80) late of St Patrickâ€™s Terrace.
Dessie died suddenly while visiting St Josephâ€™s Care Centre where he had his lunch most days before catching up with his many friends there.
An active man who was involved in many organisations, the sudden nature of his passing has shocked his family, friends and neighbours.
Born in February 1934 to Tom and Mary, Dessie began working in the Longford Leader at the age of 16. He worked for the Longford Leader for 50 years and even after his retirement, he was a frequent visitor to the office where he regularly enjoyed a cup of coffee and a chat with his former colleagues.
During his lifetime, Dessie Brennan was involved in numerous organisations including the St Melâ€™s Choir, the Millennium Choir, the Longford/Lourdes committee, Longford Social Services, The Temperance Hall and Pioneers Association to mention but a few.
A wonderfully talented singer and a man who loved music, he was a founder member of the choir when it was known as the Longford Menâ€™s Harmony Choir in the 1950s and 60s.
He was a deeply spiritual man who was rooted in his community, his county and in the parish of St Melâ€™s. He kept well-informed about the restoration of St Melâ€™s Cathedral and it is deeply poignant that he did not live to see the Cathedral re-open in a few weeksâ€™ time.
Dessie was very well known throughout the county because of his involvement with Longford Social Services and Meals on Wheels. He was one of the founder members of the organisation in the 1960s with the late Sr Calasanctius and the late Padraig Gearty.
â€œIt is with sadness we here in Meals on Wheels and indeed the larger community of Co Longford and surrounding areas have lost a great friend and true gentleman, Dessie Brennan RIP,â€ the organisation said in a tribute.
The tribute continued, â€œDessie gave tirelessly of his time â€“ since the inception of Meals on Wheels some 43 years ago when he was â€˜headhuntedâ€˜ by Sr Calasanctius RIP and such was his dedication that on his day-off from working in the Longford Leader he accompanied Sr Calasanctius serving up smiles while delivering Meals on Wheels visitation across the county.
â€œIronically, Dessie left us on Thanksgiving Day. We give thanks to the Lord for such a wonderful person. Dessie - you will indeed be singing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the Cathedral Choir - from the highest star â€“ you are home now â€“ with Our Father in heaven. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.â€
The high esteem with which Dessie Brennan was held in was evident by the huge numbers of people who gathered to pay their respects last weekend. His Funeral Mass was held on Saturday in the St Josephâ€™s Hospital Chapel. Chief celebrant was Fr Tom Murray who was assisted by Fr Turlough Baxter, Fr Anthony Carroll and Fr Bernard Noonan. The beautiful music on the day was performed by Dessieâ€™s fellow choir members who also sang at his graveside.
Dessie was laid to rest on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at Ballymacormack Cemetery following Funeral Mass at St Josephâ€™s Chapel in Longford town.
He is sadly missed by his loving family, brothers Austin (Tullamore), Hugh (Longford), sisters Carmel Fenniak (Canada) and Kitty Cashin (Dublin), brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends.