Denis Lynn funeral: ‘The family invite you to join a celebration of Denis’s life’ - tributes to chairman of Finnebrogue Artisan
The family of Downpatrick business tycoon Denis Lynn have invited friends and family to “a celebration” of his life.
Mr Lynn, 63, was chairman of the Downpatrick based food company Finnebrogue Artisan which he built up from scratch and which now employs 1000 people, with a turnover of £100 million.
He died on Sunday after a quad bike accident at his home on the Finnebrogue Estate, where he lived with his wife Christine and four daughters.
His company described him as “an innovator and a visionary with an infectious passion for delivering positive change for the planet and its people”, noting that staff thoughts were with his wife Christine and daughters Kerry, Clare, Tara and Ciara.
In a statement today, the family said they would like to inform friends and family that the funeral service will take place at noon on Friday May 7 at 29 Killyleagh Road, Downpatrick.
“It will take place outdoors and the family invite you to join a celebration of Denis’s life. Please adhere to Covid guidelines,” it added.
The family noted that they have set up an email account, [email protected], for friends and family to send memories and condolences, which will be compiled and publish in due course.
While there had been many tributes from the worlds of business and politics, a wide range of charities have now also paid tribute to his support.
Rosamond Bennett, Chief Executive of Christian Aid Ireland, said Mr Lynn had supported them “over many years”.
“Here in the UK and Ireland, Denis generously provided many thousands of sausages to support our fundraising activities,” she said. “Overseas, he was involved in projects in both Kenya and Malawi, helping farmers to adapt their business models and agricultural activities to allow for the changing climate - increasing their financial security, and enabling them to thrive as family units.
“Denis liked to visit the projects and communities he was supporting, and often took the time to share his passion and knowledge of sustainable business models, and his own personal story of humble beginnings - a source of inspiration to many. Today we’re thinking back on those good times together, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and all of those at Finnebrogue.”
Mr Lynn left school at 15 and began his career selling food to restaurants and cafes before going out on his own and developing a wide range of innovative artisan food products.
Jane Hoare, Head of Fundraising with the Cancer Fund for Children said she was “shocked and saddened by this terrible news”.
She added: “Denis was such a wonderful supporter of the Cancer Fund for Children and [residential home] Daisy Lodge, and made such a positive impact on the local community and beyond. Our thoughts are with Christine, his children and everyone at Finnebrogue at this sad time.”
Joanne McCallister, Head of Income Generation with Simon Community NI said she was “so sorry” to hear of his death.
“I’d the pleasure of working with him a few times and hosting him at charity events,” she said. “He was a straight talker, which I loved, and an incredibly generous man. My thoughts to Christine, his children and all at Finnebrogue.”
SDLP MLA Colin McGrath said he was “a man with a big heart” and that many of his staff will be aware of the “fantastic contribution” he made to communities in Africa to help overcome poverty and deprivation.
He added: “Locally he contributed to holiday hunger projects for children and young people. Many local people will be unaware of this, and it was an endearing side of his personality and work.”
Former Chief Executive of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Liam Hannaway, said he had found Mr Lyn “a gentleman to work with ... and a very generous benefactor to many charities who demonstrated civic pride in so many ways. My condolences to his family and work colleagues. May he rest in peace.”
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