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Farewell to one of Wexford's greatest showmen

Former publican Des Whelan, who died last week, was a legend of the stage, starring in 29 productions with Wexford Light Opera

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Elizabeth Rose Browne as the Baroness and Des Whelan as The Baron in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 2019

Elizabeth Rose Browne as the Baroness and Des Whelan as The Baron in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 2019

The late Des Whelan

The late Des Whelan

Des Whelan and Siobhan Fawsitt in the WLOS production of Sweeney Todd in 2005

Des Whelan and Siobhan Fawsitt in the WLOS production of Sweeney Todd in 2005

Des Whelan and Dano Murphy, better known as the Roley Poleys

Des Whelan and Dano Murphy, better known as the Roley Poleys

Des performing during the Singing Pubs in 2018

Des performing during the Singing Pubs in 2018

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Elizabeth Rose Browne as the Baroness and Des Whelan as The Baron in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 2019

Widespread tributes have been paid to the charismatic former publican and Wexford Light Opera Society star Des Whelan who died suddenly last week.

Des, the former owner of The Wicked Swan in the Faythe and O Faoláin's in Monck Street was a talented and award-winning singer and stalwart of the stage in Wexford over many years.

In a tribute to one of its most enduring stars, the Light Opera Society described his passing as 'the saddest of blows' and said Des, a life member, 'will always be remembered for his caring words and wisdom, his wit and amazing sense of humour, his ability to seek out new talent and nurture them and his mentoring of so many of our members.