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Obituary: Curley's director Hugh Kennedy jnr

 

A director of a multi-million pound retail business which grew out of a west Belfast corner shop has died suddenly at the age of 48.

Hugh Kennedy jnr, whose father Hugh started the Curley's business with just £20 in 1969 on Glen Road, lived at Upper Malone Road in Belfast.

The original business outgrew its humble beginnings and moved to a site on Falls Road which became known as the Kennedy Centre and later expanded again to The Oaks shopping centre in Dungannon.

The Belfast and Dungannon stores, which had an annual turnover of more than £50m, were sold to Sainsbury's in a multi-million pound deal in 2008.

However, the family-run business retained ownership of 11 off-licences operating under the Curley's brand.

In May Hugh senior was given a lifetime achievement award at the Belfast Business Awards.

Hugh jnr, a father-of-five, was a director of HJS Development, the business which kept ownership of the two centres where the Curley's flagship stores were located.

He was also an active member of the Lamh Dhearg GAA club in Hannahstown and all five of his children played for various teams associated with the club, according to its Facebook page.

This is the third death to strike the Kennedy family in recent years. Hugh's brother John died in 2007 and his mother Deirdre in 2009.

Mr Kennedy, who died last Thursday, was buried after Requiem Mass at St Joseph's Church in Hannahstown on Sunday.

Young members of the Lamh Dhearg club formed a guard of honour as the coffin was borne to the adjoining graveyard for burial.

Mr Kennedy is survived by his father, brother Stephen, his wife Louise, and children, Jordan, Rebecca, Sara, Hannah and Aaron.

Belfast Telegraph

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