Belfast Telegraph

Books of condolence opened in Newry in memory of Brian Conlon

The late Brian Conlon, who founded First Derivatives in 1996
The late Brian Conlon, who founded First Derivatives in 1996

A number of books of condolence have been opened in the Newry, Mourne and Down council area in memory of local businessman Brian Conlon.

Mr Conlon passed away on Sunday at the age of 53 after a short battle with cancer.

He was the founder and chief executive of the Newry-based software and consulting firm First Derivatives and grew it into a business with more than 2,000 staff, valued at £1bn.   

Mr Conlon also played GAA for the Co Down senior team during the 1980s.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Charlie Casey opened a book of condolence in the council offices in Newry on Tuesday.

Books of condolence will also be available at other locations throughout the council area.

Councillor Casey said he wanted to express the council's "collective sadness" at Mr Conlon's death.

"There are few people who have contributed more than Brian to Newry and the wider region and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him," he said.

"His commitment to this region has improved the lives of the thousands who work for First Derivatives, both here and around the world, and he has played a huge role, not just regenerating the local economy, but also in creating a vibrant and prosperous society for all.

"By creating such a successful financial software company in this region and importantly, retaining its headquarters in Newry City during years of phenomenal growth, he has put Newry on the map."

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Charlie Casey has opened a number of books of condolence in memory of Mr Conlon.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Charlie Casey has opened a number of books of condolence in memory of Mr Conlon.

Councillor Casey said Mr Conlon would also be remembered for his contributions to civic life in the area.

"Brian’s contribution was not just across business, he supported so many other aspects of community life in Newry, Mourne and Down, including his love of Gaelic football. He will forever be remembered as a son of Newry who deeply loved his family, his work and his community," the council chairperson said.

"In time, people will reflect on the tremendous legacy he leaves behind in First Derivatives, but right now the overall emotion is one of sadness for someone who has been taken too young.

"Our thoughts are with Julie, his wife and mother to their two young children, Brian’s mother Josephine, sister Kathy and brother Ciaran, the wider family circle and his closest colleagues who have been left devastated by this news."

In recognition of the contribution and esteem that Brian was held in, the council will be opening a book of condolence in the following council premises from 1pm on Tuesday July 30. The books are available for signing Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm for a period of two weeks:

Crotlieve – Warrenpoint Town Hall

Downpatrick – Down Arts Centre and Downshire Civic Centre

Newry – District Council Offices and Newry Town Hall

Rowallane – Ballynahinch Market House

Slieve Gullion – Crossmaglen Community Centre

The Mournes – Newcastle Centre

The books will close for signatures on Tuesday August 13.

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