The founder of Finnebrogue, who started selling pizzas and pies in a small white van and farming before moving on to crisps, has grown to become one of Northern Ireland’s leading food producers and one of the main suppliers of supermarkets.
It is understood that Denis tragically died following the accident at his home on the Finnebrogue estate on Sunday evening. He was only 63 years old.
In 2018, he was named UK’s Most Innovative Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors. The once-meat-focused producer launched Europe’s largest plant-based food factory in 2020 to manufacture 15 products for its Naked meatless line.
His company released a statement following his death.
It read: “Our hearts go out to Denis’s wife Christine, his children Kerry, Clare, Tara and Ciara and the whole family at this incredibly difficult time.
“Denis was an innovator and a visionary with an infectious passion for bringing about positive change to the planet and its people. He leaves behind an extraordinary list of accomplishments.
“Denis also leaves behind Finnebrogue and a vision for his future. Finnebrogue was his creation. It is now incumbent upon all of us – the Finnebrogue family – to continue this remarkable work.
“The board of directors met today. Non-executive director David Manning has been appointed interim chairman with immediate effect. Non-executive director Colin Walsh has been appointed interim vice president.
“The management team will run the business on a day-to-day basis.
“We have created an email account, [email protected], so that you can send your memories and condolences, which we will compile and publish in due course.
“Denis was our founder, leader and inspiration. We will best honor his memory by invoking his passion for making food the best it can be, without being bound by the way it’s always been done – and trying to make the world every day. a better place. “
Others took to social media to pay tribute to the former farmer, who evolved his business to include meat substitutes.
Food and MBE reporter Sam Butler said, “A terrible tragedy. Denis was a great innovator especially in plant-based foods. I sincerely regret the family circle and the Finnebrogue team. “
Another shared his “deepest condolences to Denis’s family and colleagues at Finnebrogue Artisan… an incredible loss for the #North Ireland food industry… such an innovator ”.
“Sorry to hear of Denis’ sudden passing,” added an old friend.
“I met Denis in 87/88 when he came to me to fund his first truck for Lynn’s C. Foods from there, he went from strength to strength to build his empire. Condolences to Christine, her daughters and those around her.
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