Tributes paid to ‘one in a million’ Limerick greyhound trainer

The late Denis O'Malley. Photo: Brendan Gleeson.

LIMERICK has lost a legendary figure of the greyhound racing scene with the passing of long-time successful owner and trainer, Denis O’Malley.

The Drombana man may be best known for his 70 years of service to the greyhound world, and long expressed his love for the sport, especially the social element which led him to meet many lifelong friends and admirers, who have in the days since his passing described him as a “true gentleman”, a “fountain of knowledge”, and a “genius with a greyhound”.

The 86-year-old, throughout his career, recorded an astounding 811 winners, as well as almost 4,000 race entries, with his last recorded race taking place in September of last year.

In an online tribute to the local racing legend, the Limerick Greyhound Track Supporters wrote that Mr O’Malley was “a true gentleman and we were lucky to have you in our wonderful sport”.

“Denis always had time for everyone, no matter who you were. He was a gentleman who had knowledge that very few people in this world have. When Denis spoke, you listened.

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“The stories he told of old times were thrilling, and he had a deep appreciation of nature. It is fair to say that his likes are rare and he truly was a unique man. He had a wonderful way with a greyhound and his success on the track spoke for itself.

“Denis was so loved and adored by all of our greyhound community and he will be sadly missed. We send our deepest sympathies to all of Denis’ family and his many friends, especially his close friends in the greyhounds who looked up to him with so much respect and admiration, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

“Denis, you were one in a million, thank you for the memories.”

Mr O’Malley passed away peacefully on Tuesday of this week (February 13) surrounded by his loving family in St John’s Hospital in Limerick City.

He is survived by his loving wife Carmel and children Sharon, Denise, Siobhan, and Jacqui. He is deeply regretted by grandchildren Connor, Kelly, Olivia, Sarah, and Becky, brothers, sisters, and children in law, nephews, nieces, and a wide network of family, lifelong friends, and neighbours.

Mr O’Malley will be reposing at Cross’s Funeral Home in Ballyneety today (Thursday) from 5pm to 7pm, followed by removal to St Patrick’s Church in Knockea. Requiem Mass will be held on Friday at 12.30pm before proceeding to Cahernorry Cemetery.

The O’Malley family have requested that the family home remain strictly private and that, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity in Mr O’Malley’s name, if desired.