Tributes have been paid following the sad passing of an All-Ireland hurling winning Laois man this morning.
Brother Damien Brennan, who hails from Arles, led Kilkenny to All-Ireland minor hurling glory in 2004 and coached a number of underage teams in the county.
The 59-year-old, who passed away this morning following a battle with illness, was highly regarded in Kilkenny.
Brennan, who would be an uncle of former Laois footballer Donie, was was also the principal of Coláiste Éamann Rís, Callan where he coached a number of their teams.
He is regarded as something of a father figure to many of Kilkenny’s greatest hurlers with the likes of Jackie Tyrrell and Henry Shefflin passing through his hands.
Shefflin heralded Br Brennan as “one of the most deeply intelligent people I’ve ever spoken to” in his autobiography while Tyrrell also regarded him highly.
In an interview a few years ago, Tyrrell said that Br Brennan ‘turned his whole career around’.
Speaking today following Br Brennan’s passing, LaoisToday hurling analyst Tommy Buggy called him ‘a complete gentleman’.
The Castlecomer native said: “Br Brennan was an absolutely brilliant coach and a pure gentleman too.
“He was responsible for so many great Kilkenny hurlers and he is so highly regarded in Kilkenny.
“He was a very intelligent man and really understood hurling. He was so good to the people that he knew and always had a kind word for everyone.
“He will be very sadly missed by all of the people in Kilkenny and I’m sure in his native Arles too.”
Reposing in Edmund Rice Memorial Chapel, Westcourt, Callan, on Wednesday and Thursday, concluding with Rosary and Evening Prayer at 7.30pm on Thursday.
Removal on Friday morning to The Church of the Assumption, Callan, arriving for Requiem Mass at 11am. Burial afterwards in the Christian Brothers’ Community Plot, Kilbride Cemetery, Callan.
Callan United would like to sympathise with the family, friends and Christian Brothers of Brother Damien Brennan, who passed away this morning. A well known, supportive and energetic member of our community, he will be sorely missed.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.
— Callan United (@CallanUnited) September 3, 2019