London Irish has learned with great sadness of the sudden death of Dermot Clancy who died at his home in Penn, Buckinghamshire on Tuesday 10 September. Dermot was joint Chairman of the Clancy Group, the west London based national construction company.
Born in London into a first generation Irish, immigrant family, Dermot spent his early years in Wembley as his father strove to create a better life for his family, eventually setting up MJ Clancy & Sons Limited in 1958. Dermot was educated at Challoner School, Finchley, and went on to study business studies in which he qualified in 1972.
Dermot met the love of his life, Vicky, at the age of 18, who he would marry in 1974.
After college he joined the family business and quickly worked his way up to being appointed as a Director in 1975. Following their father’s death in 1984, Dermot and his brother Kevin became Joint Managing Directors of the re-named Clancy Group. He remained in this role until he and Kevin became Joint Chairmen in 2012.
With the support of their sister Mary, Dermot and Kevin successfully developed the Group into one of the largest, privately owned construction companies in the United Kingdom with a workforce of 3,000 people.
Away from business Dermot was a member of the Board of Governors of the Beacon Preparatory School in Amersham for 10 years, this was a great source of personal pride for him after four of his five children attended the school.
Dermot was a sports fan through and through, and filled his diary full of sporting fixtures including rugby, football, golf, tennis and horse racing. These events were part of the foundation of his famously busy social calendar – enjoying these occasions with family and friends was everything to him.
His other great passion was horse riding – both recreational and fox hunting. Through the latter, at the Bicester, the Quorn and the Cattistock Hunts and at various meets in Ireland, he made life-long friends, and became renowned for his relentless appetite for jumping high fences and enjoying the ‘craic’ in the pub at the end of the day.
Above all, Dermot was a family man. He was devoted to his wife Vicky, and his five children – Danny, Ronan, Kieran, Joanna and Jack. Dermot was never happier than when he was surrounded by his family around the dinner table at his home in Penn, Buckinghamshire. He was a famously generous spirit and welcomed hundreds of people into his home for parties, and at places like Royal Ascot, Twickenham and Wembley.
Dermot was a force of nature and a huge personality – his smile, cheeky disposition and big heartedness will be a loss to the hundreds of lives that he touched. He leaves behind a legacy of hard work, fun, family values and friendship.
London Irish extends its sincere sympathy to Dermot’s wife and their sons, daughter and grandchildren, to the Clancy family and all his colleagues and friends.