DONEGAL GAA legend Brendan Devenney has been left heartbroken following the death of his beloved father and sister within hours of each other.
Brendan’s father Patrick, a popular and gifted sportsman himself, passed away on Wednesday after a brave battle with illness at the Donegal Hospice in Letterkenny.
However, the family received even more tragic news when Patrick’s daughter Margaret passed away suddenly on Thursday as a result of a medical issue.
Tributes have flowed in from across the country for the Devenney family at the shock double loss.
Local county councilor Paul Canning, a relative of the Devenney family, said the entire community was in shock at the double tragedy.
He described the deaths as a “very, very sad day for the community.”
St Eunan’s GAA Club in Letterkenny, where Margaret’s children play, said it was an understatement to say that everyone at the club was devastated by the news of Margaret’s death.
A spokesperson said: “We will sorely miss you Margaret – along with your smile and warmth which greeted so many of us when we were fortunate enough to meet you.”
Naomh Colmcille CLG – Donegal paid tribute to “great clubman” Patrick Devenney.
They said: “It’s with huge regret we learned the sad news today about the passing of Patrick Devenney our past player, trainer, assistant manager and right up to his death a lotto seller and all round great clubman.”
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The lengthy tribute added: “He loved watching his grandchildren play and could be seen on the sidelines at most of their games and it’s a loss to us all and so sad we won’t see him there again.
“RIP Patrick, you will be sadly missed.
“Everyone associated with the club sends our heartfelt condolences to his wife Imelda and to Sharon, Margaret, Brendan, Maria & Arlene and the extended family at this time.”
Lac Juveniles Athletics club also sent their condolences to the heartbroken family.
They wrote: “There are no words, we are utterly devastated as a club and a community to hear of the sad passing of our Juvenile Coach Mags (Margaret) Sullivan (Devenney). May she rest in peace.
“Our Sympathy to her husband Eugene, our juvenile members Ethan and Molly and Condolences to all the Devenney and Sullivan families at this sad time.
“May Margaret and her father Patrick, RIP
“Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Margaret and Patrick will be woken from today at the family home at Mill Road, Newtowncunningham from 10am.
They will then be buried following a joint funeral mass tomorrow.
Margaret is survived by her husband Eugene and the couple’s children Ethan and Molly.
She will also be sorely missed by her mother Imelda, sisters Sharon, Maria, Arlene & brother Brendan, brothers & sister in laws Daniel, Alan, Garvan and Treasa, parents in law Greg and Maeve Sullivan, brother in law Shane and his wife Laura , and sister in law Orla.
Patrick and Margaret’s joint funeral mass will take place at noon tomorrow at the All Saints Church, Newtowncunningham, followed by burial in the adjacent cemetery.