There was great sadness last week after the passing of a true gentleman and Longford man Denis Dowd. Just short of his 80th birthday, his death still came as a huge surprise to the many people who knew and loved him.
Denis was a huge Longford Town FC supporter and was Vice-President right up until the time of his death. He took immense satisfaction from the success of the club, particularly the back-to-back FAI cup wins in 2003 and 2004. Off the field, Denis acted as commercial manager for many years, coming up with novel fund-raising ideas such as the millennium promotion and the half-time draw, both of which were very important fundraisers for the club.
It was not just soccer that Denis enjoyed and he was known to have a keen interest in a number of sports. In particular, he enjoyed the greyhound racing at Longford Greyhound track where he operated the photo finish for several years. He also loved the excitement of horse racing.
Over the years Denis worked in a number of the institutions of Longford Town itself, such as the ‘Longford News’ and Hanlon’s on the Dublin Road. Denis also worked on the old photo counter in Harney’s Chemist. He also operated as a photographer for a period, covering dances and weddings to earn a few extra bob.
In recent years, Denis was a dedicated member of the AA in Longford, having shown strong resolve to overcome alcohol addiction in his past, and was happy to offer help to anyone in need. Denis’s other interests included politics and was a well known canvasser for Fine Gael down through the years. Many politicians sought his help going door-to-door as his popularity was always an ice breaker on the door step.
Although he never married, Denis was a true family man who doted on his grand nephews and nieces. He was closest of all to his siter Kitty, with whom he lived in their house on Templemichael Terrace for the past 40 years.
His removal and burial were very well attended highlighting the esteem Denis was held in by all who knew him. He will be sorely missed by a large collection of friends and family. In particular we remember his sister Kitty and his extended family during this time of loss. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.