News that legendary singer Denis Doran passed away suddenly at his Lurgan business has been met with shock and sadness.
Denis took ill suddenly on Saturday morning at his Church Place dry cleaning business and passed away after a heart attack.
At 57, Denny was a popular singer and had been well known around the Craigavon area and beyond for his amazing talent.
His brother Mel said the entire family was shocked and saddened at Denny’s death.
Denis was born and bred in Shankill growing up in Silverwood Drive.
The son of Brendan and Kathleen, Denis was the third youngest in a family of nine children.
He went to St Peter’s Primary School and St Paul’s Junior High School. And it was there that his love of music began under the guidance of teacher Fra Donnelly. He starred in the musical Joseph and His Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat twice and his love affair with music never ceased.
Thornbury’s Hut in Shankill, which was like a music hall, was where Denis met his childhood sweetheart Yvonne and, from then on, they just adored each other.
He started working as a painter and decorator with Charlie McIntyre and then worked at Warns Surgical Products.
Indeed many of the former staff said Denis helped them through a shift with a few sing songs.
Every weekend he was playing at local hotels, pubs or clubs. He was so popular he drew regular crowds particularly every Friday and Sunday night at the Silverwood Hotel.
And he was the favourite for hundreds of couples who had asked him to play at their wedding. “He married half the country,” said Mel.
He had the latest in backing tracks and, he was so good, many people thought he was miming the songs. “I used to tell him that was a compliment,” said Mel.
His brother said that often someone would turn the backing tracks down so they could hear Denny singing.
“He just love Elvis, Neil Diamond and ELO. Many people said that if you closed your eyes you would think you were listening to the real Neil Diamond and Elvis,” he said.
“He was the life and soul of the party and everyone had a good word about him,” said Mel.
Though Denny loved his music it was his family he lived for. He adored his wife Yvonne and their two children Michael and Jayne.
After 20 years he gave up singing and just played at wedding for close family and friends and focussed on his dry cleaning business and his family.
Highly regarded as a businessman, Denis can only be described as a gentleman.
He didn’t drink nor smoke but he loved the craic and banter.
Mel said his brother was a huge Liverpool fan and absolutely adored the TV show Breaking Bad. “He got a lot of people into that programme and even called one of his dogs Walter,” said Mel.
“Though we were brothers there was never a cross word between us. I never seen him angry,” said Mel.
“And although Denny loved the singing, it was his family he idolised. He just lived for his wife and family.”
Mr Doran is survived by his wife and soulmate Yvonne, son Michael, daughter Jayne, brothers, sisters and family circle.
He was the son of the late Brendan and Kathleen Doran and much loved brother of Roisin, Brendan, Kay, Breige, Una, Art, Mel and the late Jerome R.I.P,
His funeral is on Wednesday at 10 30am from his late residence at Woodville Glen, Lurgan to St Peter’s Church for 11 30am Requiem Mass, Interment afterwards in St Colman’s Cemetery,