Des Benson

Des Benson, who died in Dublin on January 3, 2007,was born in Co Cavan in 1921 and had a long career in bakery and flour milling journalism, marketing and public relations. Educated at St Patrick’s College, Cavan and University College, Dublin, he was an outstanding Gaelic football player in the late 1940s.

In his earlier career, he worked as a news journalist for Independent Newspapers in Dublin and for many leading UK newspapers.

During the 1950s, the IRA campaign in Northern Ireland meant that newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror needed substantial daily copy from him. He also moved into broadcasting, working with RTE, the state-owned broadcasting station in Ireland.

From there, he went to Ranks, which then had three flour mills in the Republic - in Dublin, Cork and Limerick - and bakeries in Dublin, Kilcock, Co Kildare and Cork. He quickly rose to a senior position at Ranks, becoming head of marketing for the group in Ireland.

Eventually, he left to set up his own public relations consultancy and subsequently did public relations work for the Irish flour milling industry for many years. He was a very well-known and respected figure within the industry.

Des was also passionately interested in horse racing and, in his later years, did much charity work for fellow sportsmen who had fallen on hard times. He enjoyed his retirement, in his beautiful south Dublin house.

He is survived by his wife Eileen, two sons, two daughters and six grandchildren.