Tributes paid to ‘innovator’ and ‘visionary’ Denis Lynn

Rebecca Black, PA
·2-min read

Tributes have been paid to a prominent Northern Ireland businessman who has died.

Denis Lynn founded Finnebrogue Artisan in 1985.

The 63-year-old died suddenly on Sunday following an accident at his home.

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In a statement on Monday, the firm described Mr Lynn as its “founder, leader and inspiration”.

It extended its sympathies to his wife Christine, children Kerry, Clare, Tara and Ciara and the entire family.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted: “I am incredibly sorry to learn of Denis’ death. He was a trail blazer for NI. I have many happy memories of times well spent promoting our food offering across the world.”

South Down MP Chris Hazzard also expressed his sympathies.

SDLP MLA Colin McGrath described Mr Lynn as an “entrepreneur who worked hard and delivered hundreds of jobs to the Downpatrick area”, and “cared about our area and his charity work was understated and had impact especially in Africa”.

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“Denis was an innovator and a visionary with an infectious passion for delivering positive change for the planet and its people. He leaves behind an extraordinary list of achievements,” they said.

“Denis also leaves behind Finnebrogue and a vision for its future. Finnebrogue was his creation. It now falls on all of us – the Finnebrogue family – to continue his outstanding work.”

The firm said an email account – RememberingDenis@finnebrogue.com – has been set up for the sharing of memories and condolences, which will be compiled and published in due course.

The statement concludes: “Denis was our founder, leader and inspiration.

The Prince of Wales with Denis Lynn in 2019
The Prince of Wales with Denis Lynn in 2019 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“We will best honour his memory by invoking his passion for making food the best it can possibly be, without being bound by the way it’s always been done – and by trying every day to make the world a better place.”

Finnebrogue Artisan launched the first nitrate-free bacon in 2017.

Mr Lynn welcomed the Prince of Wales to the firm’s headquarters close to Downpatrick, Co Down, in 2019.