Cormac McAnallen’s father Brendan passes away following illness

Cormac McAnallen’s father Brendan passes away following illness

Brendan McAnallen, father of tragic Tyrone GAA star Cormac McAnallen, has passed away at the age of 77.

A well-known businessman who owned the Spar store in the village of Benburb, Mr McAnallen passed away peacefully at his home in The Brantry, Eglish, Co Tyrone on Thursday morning, August 4, following an illness.

Tyrone GAA captain Cormac McAnallen played on the All-Ireland winning Tyrone team of 2003, but died in his sleep on 2 March 2004 at the age of 24 due to a previously undetected heart condition.

Following the sudden passing of his son, the McAnallen family led by Brendan campaigned tirelessly for awareness around SADs (sudden arrhythmic death syndrome), establishing The Cormac Trust in his memory. It worked to encourage the use of health screening and provide defibrillators for sports clubs across Ireland.

Brendan McAnallen branched into retail with ‘Benburb Village Stores’ on Main Street in 1999. In May 2019, he unveiled a purpose-built 3,500sq-ft modern SPAR store, spacious car park and forecourt facilities at the Derryfubble Road on the 20th anniversary of the launch of the original shop. The store reached the finals of the Neighbourhood Retailer Awards in 2019.

Paying tribute to Mr McAnallen, Community First Responders in Armagh and Tyrone said: “It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Mr Brendan McAnallen, Tullygiven, Brantry.

“Brendan was a major driving force in the concept and formulation of Community first responders Armagh and Tyrone. The McAnallen family had suffered the loss of their beloved son Cormac owing to SADS or “Sudden arrhythmic death syndrome” It was thought at the time that if a trained person with a defibrillator had have been on hand then the outcome for Cormac may have been better.

“Brendan worked tirelessly to improve access to heart condition diagnostic tests and formed The Cormac trust which raised huge amounts of money to supply sporting clubs and venues with defibrillators, all of which has saved many lives throughout the Island of Ireland .

“We at CFRA&T will always remember Brendan as a kind, generous and compassionate gentleman. May he rest in peace.”

A family notice said Mr McAnallen had been a loving husband to Bridget, brother, devoted father and an adored grandfather. A requiem mass will take place at St Patrick’s Church, Eglish, this Sunday at 11am with interment afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.