Tribute To Fr. Declan Hennessy by Chubby Brennan

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Taken in 1981 to mark Jack Kelly's 21 years as Club Secretary - Left to Right - Fr. Declan Hennessy (RIP) Fr.Thornhill (RIP) and Jack Kelly (RIP) - Photo sent in by Pat Looney Cobh GAA

”A Friend remains a friend no matter how far they are apart in Life”  – Fr. Declan Hennessy (R.I.P)

When my Daughter rang me today to inform Me that Fr. Hennessy had passed away,  I immediately felt the loss even though it is quite a while since i spoke to a person whom  I classed as a true Friend. My first introduction to Decci Hennessey was in Cobh Vocational  during our studies for the leaving cert approx 1974/76. He was introduced to the class by the late Bob o Connell ,the Headmaster. ”This is Fr.Declan Hennessey” were thre words of Mr. o Connell ”FR. Declan will be taking  You for religious studies.” When Bob left the room Fr.Declan spoke, ”Ye can call Me decci and who can play cards? We will play on Friday but all proceeds must go to charity”, at this time I knew I had just meet someone special.

Yes We did study Religon but in an open way, Padra was very open, He opened his heart to us all. I know that some people in that calss got great help and comfort from him with problems of their own, but with Hennessey no one esle knew nothing. He taught us to trust, to ask ,to be assertive, to be kind, to be ourselves but in return all he asked for was respect, and that he recieved in abundance. Thanks Fr. for all those special days at Cobh Vocational School.

I was at the time much involved with Cobh Gaa club as a player and it wasn’t long before Declan became fully involved in the running of the club. He was involved in all aspects both on and off the field, even in the club house. I wonder why He Loved a pint, the craic, he loved to push people to the limit.  Every time he entered a dressing room, function, wedding recption, committee meeting, immediately his pressence was felt.

Fr. Declan spoke from the heart, and never had a bad word to say about anyone, but everyone knew to never try to pull the wool over his eyes. He loved my Mam and indeed everyone must have the same special feeling that FR.Declan had a special place in his heart for them.

WOW – I remember the day we won the Under21 final. Mick Walsh & myself decided to come back to Cobh with him. He took every back road and when we arrived at the clubhouse lets say Mike and I were both worse for ware. I went home, Ma Brennan said “were you with Padra after the Match,” yes i said, “thats it I’ll see that boy in Cobby’s shop tomorrow “and by God did she, but after she only laughed. He hated to see people hurt, to see people loosing loved ones and he openly when he himself lost a Friend.

He inspired my life. I clearly remember going to confession one day, he knew who I was so he wasn’t too hard on the ‘Pennance’  but told me ” don’t miss training that Thurs night. We need to win that Final on Sunday. The Club need to be winning.”  He also maintained a club not in debt was not a good club, a good club was a club that had to work hard all the time to upgrade facilities , grounds etc and if a club owed money then its committee had to work hard and as  Chairman he played a blinder, he had the respect of all, he  was a great delegator,indeed too bloody good as many of my friends in Cobh Gaa would agree.

Fr. Declan has passed on now and has today and for time to come left a big void in  the Hearts of all his doting flock.Has now gone to meet all the Greats who have gone to their eternal rest. All who were part of the wonderful world of the Gaa. To His Family may I offer my sincere sympathy. To Cobh and Mallow Gaa clubs May I say how sorry I am, on loosing a  legend. To all who knew Fr.Declan Hennessey, other than through GAA ,may I say be thankful and cherish that you got the chance to meet such a character

To Padra – Fr.Hennessey I know you are listening to me, as the tears trickle down my face ,look after us, continue to mind and guide us, as you always did and may I say Thank You, for being my friend even though in life we were far apart.

Rest in peace Fr. Hennessey, You were and will remain  a true Legend
Good Bye Friend


10 Responses to Tribute To Fr. Declan Hennessy by Chubby Brennan

  1. Fr. Hennesy’s Funeral Arrangements are as follows.
    Rosery on tomorrow Tuesday at 8pm in Artridge’s Funeral Home, Mallow. Removal on Wednesday at 8pm to St. Mary’s Church, Mallow. Requiem Mass on Thursday at 2pm.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:15 pm

  2. Below are the tributes paid to Fr.Hennessy on the Cobh Edition’s Facebook page that have been copied to here:

    Lisa Geary Rip Fr.Hennessey

    .Donna Foster Thants so sad..R.I.P Fr!

    .Martina Hogan R.I.P Fr. Hennessy

    .Caroline Fraher RIP Fr. Hennessy

    .Alan Ware R.I.p. Fr. Ur in all ur hearts

    .Claire Quinn Sorry to hear that RIP Fr. Hennessy

    .Rachel Wohnhaas So many memories of Father Hennessey – what a character. Wonderful man and will be greatly missed. RIP Fr Hennessey.

    .Teresa Ryan i have many happy memories of fr hennessey, he was a great friend to my mam and my brother chubby.

    .Yvonne Osborne RIP Fr Hennessey

    .Helen Mc Cauley Greatest priest an person ever r.I.p fr hennessy

    .Noreen Houlihan RIP Father Hennessey wonderful man. He married myself and robbie 30 years ago this coming september.Such a jolly man had a smile for everyone. xxxxx

    .Mary Geary some character was Fr. Hennessy, RIP

    .Rhona O’Brien Ware RIP Fr H. I remember being in the GAA and i was only bout 9 and u said ud give me 5 pound if I broke all the glasses behind the bar I broke two and u gave me the five pounds that’s only one of many memories I have of u RIP xxxx

    .John Walsh R.I.P couchie 😉

    .Sinéad Coakley Jeffares what a great loss rest in peace Fr. Hennessey

    .Donna Fitzgerald omg R.I.P

    .Sharon O Brien RIP, the nicest priest this town ever had, no messin about der

    .Sylvia Stanton Noonan What a wonderful person and character a great family friend!!!!R.I.P
    .Sharon Horgan R.I.P Fr Hennesy

    .Angela Walsh So sad to hear this ,he was a lovely man !!!

    .Linda Condon R.I.P Fr Hennesy. He was a lovley man.

    .Lynn O Reilly RIP Fr, Hennessy, what a person.

    .Gerard Brennan A true Legend, spent many great Gaa times with Fr Hennessey, a great Gaa Person. The association has lost a star ,bless You Decci from youre true Friend Chubby Brennan May u be at Peace

    .Maria Hughes R.I.P. Fr Hennessey

    .Emer Monks R.I.P Fr Hennesy married me 26 years ago and was a very funny man and made our wedding very personal

    .Esther Barry He was the best religion teacher and friend anyone could have. He is a great loss to the Church and everyone. Rest in Peace

    .Sandra Murphy-Finegan R I P Fr Hennessy a jolly man very popular for the weddings and funerals he was always up for the laugh

    .John Mulvihill A priest many people in Cobh could relate to, a great loss to the priesthood in these trying times, Known affectionately as the pardra in the gaa having served many year as chairman, I have no doubt he is up there catching up with old friend the late Jack Kelly.May he rest in peace.

    .Josephine Houlihan So very sorry to hear this, Fr. Deccie was a great man, may he Rest in Peace. Will be sorely missed.

    .Niall Ware RIP |Fr Hennessy

    .Kay Irwin May he rest in peace he was a nice man.

    .Sandra Higgins aww poor fr hennessey R.I.P

    .Pat Murphy A wonderful and awesome priest, I spent alot of time with him at GAA games and had a great crac with him while working at the GAA bar,He will be missed very much by the Church and local GAA clubs,RIP Fr Deccie

    .Donna O’ Driscoll R.I.P Fr Hennessey!

    .Fiona Cullinane R.I. P Fr. Deckie.. omg what a shocker, such a great guy, a nice priest and great with the community too especially n the Gaa, may u now rest in peace..xx

    .Eileen Deady he was the prist that married me and mart R I P

    .Deirdre Forrest Fr.Hennessey RIP

    .Roslyn Crotty R.I.P Fr. Hennessey

    .Ann O Callaghan RIP Fr Hennessy. You were a fantastic priest. One of the best.

    .Mick Buckley RIP Deccie. One of the greats. Thanks Dec’ for being a great priest and a wondeful human being.

    .Garymc Kiernan god bless

    .Breda Kennedy Nolan R I P Fr. Hennessey.

    .Garymc Kiernan R.I.P Fr hennessy and look down on cobh from time to time

    .Patrick O Mahony Rest in peace Fr. Hennessy

    .Carol Wilshaw What a lovely man, RIP Fr. Hennessy

    .Gillian Gould R.I.P. Fr Hennessey.alot of memories of u……u were a LEGEND.

    .Andrea Fitzpatrick O’Rourke What a loss only met him a few weeks ago when I went to a funeral in mallow. R.I.P.

    .Freda Mcdowall great memories of Deckie Joe as he fondly called in the Camogie Club, his pep talks were the funniest part of the match and at times not repeatable. miss ya deck

    .Sandra Farrell RIP Fr. Declan Hennessey, many good memories of u, a great friend to a lot of people and a great man for Cobh GAA u will be sadly missed……..

    .Ramona Kenneally R.I.P Fr.Hennessy he was a great character

    .Michelle Conneely Fr.Hennessey R.I.P. Wat a lovely priest he was a great charater.

    .Sarah Guilfoyle RIP Fr Hennessy, what a legend. One of the nicest and best priests this town has had. He will be sorely missed.

    .Marie Meredith This Family have great memories of you while you were in Cobh.Rest -in-peace,Fr.Hennessy.

    .Margaret Coffey god bless Fr Hennssey , all good memories RIP.

    .Peter Foster rest in peace deccie. lovely man.

    .Vivienne Leahy Rest in Peace and God Bless x

    .Daniel O Flaherty a great loss,R.I.P

    .Susan Lynch R.I.P

    .Gabrielle Delaney Deccie, you were a young peoples priest.. Many a great laugh we had and of course a few scoops too…. Cobh lost out on a wonderful priest when you went to Mallow… and I agree with Freda sometimes his pep talks were not repeatable. You will be sadly missed Deccie…. RIP…

    .Sylvia Whelehan may he rest in peace

    .Sandra Webster what an aweome priest.So full of life. Our loss!!!

    .Bernard Devlin 1 in a million gas man and a great man r.i.p.

    .Daniel Young will always remember him R.I.P

    .Louise Burke RIP Father Hennessy.

    .Mary Louth R.I.P

    Sandra Higgins aww thats lovely R.I.p FR hennessey and a lovely pic off jack kelly to

    .Norma Lomas I remember him well a lovely man R.I.P

    .Deirdre Forrest Lovely photo have great memories of Fr.Hennessey RIP.

    .Jillian Mc Crossan A lovely lovely man, R.I.P. and a great friend to the old people when he was in Cobh. God bless him.

    .Ben Hurley What a man, full of fun and laughter always there for people, missed him when he went now will miss him even more.May God bless you and keep you in his arms for ever Rest In Peace Father Hennessey

    .Darragh McGann A true friend has now departed, may he forever rest in Peace. R.I.P.

    .Joan Buckley Fr Hennesy you were one of a kind and nobody could ever replace you, may you rest in the loving arms of our lord and Rest in Peace.

    .Eileen Forrest Awwww…..God Rest him….he was the best…..a legend and a credit to his calling. RIP Fr. Hennessy. Pray for US.

    .Declan O’Brien Declan Hennessey was a pastoral priest and endeared himself to the people of Cobh, as very few priests have done so since. May He Rest in Peace

    May 18, 2010 at 7:42 am

  3. Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live. Not you Fr. you showed us all how to live life to the full, boundless energy dedicated to your people and Cobh GAA. I hope the good lord know what he is letting himself in for taking you so early. Rest in peace my friend.

    John O Connell
    May 18, 2010 at 11:34 am

  4. Rest in Peace Fr. Deccie from all on the playing fields of North Cork GAA

    Tim Healy
    May 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm

  5. He always made me laugh Someone one I liked being with So easy to talk to
    In short a great man

    Denis flynn
    May 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm

  6. RIP Deccie – What a character! One of a kind – Sadly SADLY missed.

    Stuart McLoughlin
    May 18, 2010 at 4:34 pm

  7. RIP. He was the priest who baptised me and although i’m probably too young to really remember him both my parents have nothing but good words to say about him.

    James O'Donoghue
    May 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm

  8. He was the priest that married us over 33yrs this coming june.Meet him last year and was still in good form. Sadly missed, One of the Best.

    Josephine whelan walsh
    May 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm

  9. Thank you for the wonderful experiences ,the quick sunday sermon so we could get to the game ,the side line dramatics ,you made life for alot of us more engaging ,you had a fabulous life and we were glad to have met you from all the ex pats in Australia

    James tallon
    May 22, 2010 at 5:30 am

  10. You were loved and adored. Great to see so many great tributes. Wouldnt it be great to compile a book with all the funny and memorable storys we all have. I laugh and cry everytime I read this page.

    May 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm