Northern Ireland news

Funeral to take place on Sunday in Co Tyrone for Cormac Trust founder Brendan McAnallen

Brendan McAnallen passed away at his home in Co Tyrone on Thursday. Picture by Mal McCann
Marie Louise McConville

THE funeral of a Co Tyrone man who helped set up a life-saving charity in the aftermath of the tragic death of his son will be held on Sunday.

Brendan McAnallen, a prominent community activist, local historian and businessman, died at his home in the Brantry area near Dungannon on Thursday. He was 77.

The much-loved father and grandfather was known across Ireland for his work with The Cormac Trust, which he and his family set up following the death of his 24-year-old son, Tyrone GAA footballer Cormac, in 2004.

The trust has worked to raise awareness of sudden cardiac deaths, particularly among young people, promoting screening and providing defibrillators and training for sports clubs throughout the island.

Campa Chormaic, a summer camp combining the Irish language and Gaelic sports, also spread to four counties after Mr McAnallen established the first gathering in the Brantry in 2005.

A joiner-cabinetmaker earlier in his working life, he set up the Ardmac construction company with two brothers and later branched into retail, operating a supermarket, furniture store, cafe and bar in the village of Benburb, providing much local employment.

Mr McAnallen was also involved in a range of other bodies working across the community, including the Brantry Area Rural Development Association which constructed a cultural centre in the area.

As a keen amateur historian, he was a long-standing committee member of the O'Neill Country Historical Society and contributed regularly to its journal as well as delivering lectures.

Requiem Mass will take place on Sunday at 11am at St Patrick’s Church, Eglish. Interment will take place afterwards in adjoining cemetery.

Mr McAnallen is survived by his wife, Bridget, sons, Donal and Fergus and extended family circle.

Northern Ireland news