Northern Ireland news

Tributes paid to Down GAA 'history maker' Kieran Denvir

Down GAA icon Kieran Denvir died on Tuesday, it has been confirmed. His funeral will take place this Saturday in Kilkeel.
Paul Ainsworth

A MEMBER of the Down football All-Ireland winning team of 1960 has been described as a "history maker" following his death.

Kieran Denvir, who helped the Down side lift the Sam Maguire Cup after beating Kerry in the 1960 All-Ireland football final at Croke Park, died yesterday morning. He was in his 90s.

The 1960 win was the first time a county from the north claimed an All-Ireland football final victory.

Mr Denvir, who was originally from the Ballynarry area, came on as a replacement in the second-half of the match and cemented his place in his county's GAA history as the side defeated Kerry, who were defending their All-Ireland title from the previous year.

A statement from Down GAA said the association was "saddened" to learn of the death of Mr Denvir, who was a father-of-five and had 11 grandchildren.

A spokesperson said he "came from a family steeped in the heritage of Down GAA" as his father James had become the first-ever chair of the county's committee in 1903.

They also highlighted another moment of history for the Down side in which Mr Denvir played a part - helping the county win its first Ulster Senior title by defeating Cavan in the Ulster final in 1959, alongside his brother Brian.

During his career, Mr Denvir played for clubs including Kilclief GAC and also helped the University College Dublin side win the Sigerson Cup while he was a student.

"The men of 1960 will always have a special place in the hearts and minds of Down people and indeed of GAA people throughout the land and beyond these shores," the Down spokesperson added.

"Kieran Denvir was one of those men, the history makers, a man of stature."

Meanwhile, Ulster GAA sectretary Brian McAvoy described Mr Denvir as a "gentleman".

"He was part of that historic breakthrough team of 1960 that brought Sam across the border for the first time," he said.

"Another link in that 1960 chain is gone, but his memory lasts."

A funeral will take place on Saturday at St Colman's Church in Kilkeel, before a burial in the adjoining cemetery.

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