Former Tennis Ireland chief executive Des Allen dies

Popular administrator was a regular at Wimbledon and Roland Garros

The death has taken place of former Tennis Ireland chief executive Des Allen. Photograph: rip.ie

The death has taken place of former Tennis Ireland chief executive Des Allen. Photograph: rip.ie

 

The death has taken place of one of the most pleasant people in Irish sport, former Tennis Ireland chief executive Des Allen, who passed away on Thursday following a long battle with cancer, aged 69. Always passionate about tennis, he provided 20 years of service to the sport before his retirement in 2016.

A long-standing member of Dublin’s Malahide Tennis Club, Allen continued to be involved in tennis after his retirement and was recently honoured in becoming president of the club.

Tireless in promoting tennis and a regular visitor to Wimbledon and the French Open, where he attended meetings with global leaders of the sport during the Open championships, he was recognised with an award for services to the game of tennis at the annual International Tennis Federation conference held in Zagreb, Croatia in 2016.

Often accompanied at events by his wife Karen Nugent, the well-known former Irish professional and Federation Cup tennis player, his calling card was old world values of respect and integrity that came with a gentle and intelligent nature.

In 2017 he brought out a series of beautifully written essays, chronicling his battle with cancer, parsed through events in his life ranging from the emotion at hearing the diagnosis and the subsequent fight to try and overcome the physically devastating effects to his initial recovery and the clarity it introduced to his life. Called ‘Wandering and Ponderings’ the proceeds of the book went to the Irish Cancer Society.

“It was with regret that I heard of the passing of Des,” said Richard Fahey, the current chief executive of Tennis Ireland. “He made a tremendous contribution to our sport, in particular with his work to develop the National Training Centre at Albert College Park. “This facility is a great legacy to Des and a tremendous asset for Irish tennis. We extend our sincere sympathies and prayers to his wife Karen and all of his family and friends.”

In his book Allen writes of his childhood and how much fun it was. The stories are inspiring as he writes about the cycles he took around the north county Dublin, having moved to Ballyboughal from Mullingar as a child. As a mark of respect, a short obituary was published on the website of the International Tennis Federation and Tennis Ireland. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.