Thursday 22 March 2018

'Ivor had style - and enriched many lives'

Maureen Kenny with family members at the funeral of husband Ivor Kenny in Donnybrook. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Maureen Kenny with family members at the funeral of husband Ivor Kenny in Donnybrook. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Other mourners included former Dublin Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn. Photo: Gerry Mooney
FF TD Jim O’Callaghan. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Management guru Ivor Kenny "left his footsteps on the sands of life" and had a knack for making difficult concepts accessible to ordinary people through his use of language, mourners at his funeral heard.

And while he was once described as "the most dangerous man in Ireland" by the Workers Party, he considered it to be "a major compliment", relative Tom Kenny, the well-known Galway bookseller, revealed with a smile.

Mr Kenny, who would have celebrated his 86th birthday today, was head of the Irish Management Institute for 20 years, before serving as a non-executive director of some of Ireland's major companies.

At various stages, he was a director of Independent News & Media, the Kerry Group, Iona Technology, and Smurfit Paribas, among others.

Chief mourners at his funeral at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, were his wife of 60 years, Maureen, their five children, Dermot, Conor, Ivor, Helen and Mark, and grandchildren.

President Michael D Higgins was represented by his Aide de Camp David Lyons and mourners included Jim O'Callaghan TD, former Dublin Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn, former chairman of CRH Tony Barry and surgeon Jimmy Sheehan, co-founder of the Blackrock Clinic. Maurice O'Grady, former chief executive of the Irish Management Institute, and Gerry Purcell of Purcell Meats were also present.

Fr Vincent O'Hara, a family friend who was chief celebrant at the mass, told mourners that Mr Kenny was a good man who had lived a long and full life.


Gifts brought to the altar symbolising that life included a book, symbolising the 13 Mr Kenny had written, and a miniature boat as a sign of one of his most passionate hobbies.

"Ivor did more than visit this world - he made a difference," said Fr O'Hara.

He spoke of his vibrant and active life despite the difficulties of his later years when he felt "the lamps of life turn down low".

His journey brought him to many places and he had a habit of bringing people along with him on these journeys of mind and soul, Fr O'Hara added, referring to Mr Kenny's way of making difficult concepts accessible.

He was a scholar who was as "widely read as you'd expect from a man with a Kenny pedigree," he said.

Tom Kenny told mourners that, in his youth, Ivor had been a keen rower and had represented Galway University and was fluent in Irish and French.

He was a voracious reader, "didn't suffer fools gladly", sometimes had a short fuse but was a "big softie" deep down, Mr Kenny said.

And although he worked with captains of industry, his close friends kept his feet on the ground. "Ivor had style," Mr Kenny said, adding: "He enriched our lives."

Irish Independent

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