Denis Lynn, the founder of a large food producing company in Downpatrick, has died in a quad accident close to his home near Killyleagh.
Denis Lynn (63), the founder of the famous Finnebrogue Artisan brand based in Downpatrick, has died suddenly in a quad accident on Sunday evening on the Crossagr Road in Killyleagh where he lived.
A statement from Finnebrogue Artisan said Denis Lynn was “an innovator and a visionary” with an infectious passion for delivering positive change for the planet and its people. The board of directors have on Monday convened a meeting and David Manning, a non-executive director, has been appointed as the interim chairman.
As a testament to the ethical nature of the Finnebrogue business focussing on pork products, in a company policy statement in 2019 on Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking, Denis Lynn said that his company specialised in “the production of quality sausage, burger and stuffing products. We’ve built our business on crafting artisan food that makes a difference, from the welfare of the animals; stewardship of the land to the way we treat our colleagues.
“Our dedication to excellence, craftsmanship and passion for great food is the driving force behind everything we do; and our integrated business model adopts the principles of quality, integrity and customer satisfaction.”
Finnebrogue Artisan has continued to help people in Malawi by providing assistance to young children’s education, fighting malaria and developing sustainable farming.
Denis Lynn’s business journey saw him initially selling food products from a refrigerated van. He became Europe’s biggest seller of pre-cooked Lord Chips in the nineties taking over the Irish agency, to eventually moving into beef and deer farming and setting up his deer processing factory at Finnebrogue. From this base he sold quality venison products and supplied to many top restaurants and chefs across the UK such as Rick Stein, Raymond Blanc, Paul Rankin and Heston Blumenthal.
The Finnebrogue founder realised that in farming red deer, the quality of the meat would be improved by keeping them close to their natural environments for as long as possible to maintain the meat quality.
Finnebrogue Artisan also supplies pork products to M&S, ASDA and other top supermarkets and has constantly been innovative in creating award-winning products such as Naked Bacon in 2018 which is completely nitrate free.
The Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Cllr Laura Devlin, has extended her sympathies to the wife and family of Denis Lynn, founder of Finnebrogue Artisan, following his untimely passing on Sunday evening. Cllr Devlin said: “My first thoughts are with Mr Lynn’s family who are in my prayers at this tragic time.
“Mr Lynn’s vision and entrepreneurial spirit made a huge contribution to the economic life of the area. This devastating loss will be felt by many people across the district.”
Rowallene DUP Councillor Billy Walker said that he had supported Denis Lynn on a number of occasions over the years and was “shocked and saddened at his passing”.
Cllr walker added: “I had known Denis for many years since his early ventures in business and saw him rise to become a tremendous ambassador for our district. Finnebrogue is I’m sure the biggest employer in the area with around 800 employees over four different business premises.
“Denis was in fact a kindly man who often supported the causes and charities I have been involved in. Only recently he supported the publication of a book of poetry for a lady in Killyleagh whose son passed away in the ICU at the Royal Victoria Hospital after being seriously ill for ten days. He willingly supported this book of poems for the cause.
“From a humble business background selling his products from the back of a refrigerated van, Denis rose to become a huge force in the business world in County Down with a turnover of £150million per year.
“Over the years I always supported him in Council when he was involved in complicated planning issues. I knew he would be a huge benefit to the district in the longer-term once he overcame the initial planning hurdles.
“Today hundreds of people are employed from across the district as a testament to his business efforts. I certainly hope Finnebrogue goes from strength to strength and becomes a lasting legacy to Denis Lynn.
“My thoughts, prayers and heartfelt sympathies go out to Denis’ wife Christine and their four daughters, Kerry, Clare Tara and Ciara,” said Councillor Walker.
Alliance Councillor Patrick Brown has expressed his condolences after the tragic death of local businessman Denis Lynn.
The Finnebrogue Artisan founder and chairman died in a quad accident over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Cllr Brown said: “This is devastating news for anyone who knew Denis Lynn, both personally and professionally.
“As the founder of Finnebrogue Artisan, Denis played a major role in building and supporting the local economy. His presence and dedication within the local community will be missed.
“This was a tragic accident and one which has cruelly claimed the life of Denis when he had so much more life to live. My thoughts are with his wife Christine and four daughters as they come to terms with what has happened and start to rebuild their lives in the coming weeks and months.”