Death of Denis Connolly RIP

November 8, 2018

Denis Connolly who passed away on 8 August at the age of 81 was one the last surviving members of the great Clonmore teams of the 1950s and 60s. Along with his brothers Mick, Paks and Jay, Denis graced the Clonmore jersey with distinction during the club's golden era when we won the Senior Football Championship in 1955, the League & Championship double in'56 and contested county finals in 1958, 63 and 65. 

The Connolly brothers were iconic within the club as all four were over six foot tall, possessed great athleticism and were naturally gifted footballers. The legendary Paks, a regular with Carlow for 12 years and Railway Cup medal winner with Leinster in 1961, died in 1987 at the age of 56. Mick and Jay also played with Carlow when the county team was a match for the best. Sadly, all four brothers have now passed away.

Denis was a strong and versatile player who gave many years of dedicated service to the club. After winning a Minor Championship with a Grange area team in 1952, he quickly established himself on the Clonmore senior team and played at right half-forward in the 1955 county final, left half-back in 1956 and at midfield in 1958 – all three finals against O'Hanrahans with Clonmore winning in '55 (2-10 to 0-7) and'56 (2-8 to 0-4) and losing 58 (2-5 to 0-6). He continued to serve the club right up to the mid-sixties and played in the county finals in 1963 and '65 when Clonmore lost to Tullow and Eire Og. Denis's outstanding contribution to the club was recognised when he received the Clonmore Hall of Fame Award in 1992.

Denis's son John, who won Minor and Junior Championships with Clonmore in 1992 & 94, is currently  a mentor with our u-14 team which has six players on the county development squad – inevitably two of the six are Connollys – Denis's grandson/ John's son, Luke, and Mick's grandson/ Bobby's son, Cormac. Denis's daughter, Brigid and her husband, Brendan Ryan, are also involved with Clonmore juveniles and girls teams and several other members of the extended Connolly family are heavily involved with the club.

Denis is remembered with great respect by friend and foe alike, as a gentleman off the field and as a great hearted player who was uncompromising and fearless on it. The huge number of people who attended his funeral was an indication of the high regard with which he was held throughout the county, and beyond. Guards of Honour from both Clonmore's adult and juvenile clubs lined the streets of Hacketstown at Denis's funeral on Sunday, 9 August, and the Clonmore jersey was placed upon his coffin. Clonmore GFC sends sincere sympathies to the family and friends of this great Gael – ní bheidh a leithéad ann arís.

The death has occurred of Denis CONNOLLY

Slate Row, Hacketstown, Carlow

Denis died on Thursday night at Glendale Nursing Home, Tullow. Beloved husband of the late Eileen and brother of the late Michael, Paaks, Kathy and Jay. Deeply regretted by his loving daughter Brigid, son John, grandchildren Luke, Ella, Kate, Ruby, Lily and Evan, son-in-law Brendan, daughter-in-law Linda, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends

May Dinny Rest in Peace

Reposing at his residence from 5pm until 9 pm on Friday and from 1pm on Saturday with house private on Sunday. Removal on Sunday morning to St. Brigid's Church, Hacketstown for Requiem Mass at 11am followed by Funeral to Hacketstown Cemetery. Family flowers only, please. Donations, if desired, to Glendale Nursing Home.


Date Published: Friday 7th August 2015
Date of Death: Thursday 6th August 2015