Gerry Delaney RIP

My neighbour Gerry died on Saturday. He was 85. Gerry was a prominent Navan photographer. My family moved next door to him ten years ago in 1996, and he and my dad became friends and would play golf together. As Gerry got older he wasn’t able to play golf any more. He became more fragile, to the point where shaking hands with someone would damage his blood vessels. But he’d shake their hands anyway. Mam warned us all to shake his hand gently.

I’ll always remember coming home at Christmas and Gerry and Una would come in for a drink, and Gerry would regale us with his stories of his days as a photographer. He’d always start a story with “Stop me if I’ve told this one before” and of course we had heard most of them before, but he had such a presence and engaging manner that you could never tell him to stop! He never really understood the digital photography revolution. Last Christmas he asked me what pixels were, I told him they were like grain in film. But grain is considered bad in film, so he didn’t really understand it, nor did he wish to I think. I don’t suppose he took any pictures after that.

When I was a teenager Gerry once gave a lecture to the Tara Mines Camera Club, of which I was a member at the time. One of the darkroom tips he gave us was to blow cigarette smoke through the light while making an enlargement to get a soft effect, but warned that sometimes the cigarette ash would fall on the paper and cause white spots, so be careful. The idea of Gerry in a red darkroom smoking and making enlargements is endearing, but alas only imagined. I’ll remember Gerry as the jolly old man sitting in a cloud of cigarette smoke in our sitting room, surrounded by the charms of Christmas, sipping his drink and telling us about some photographic disaster for that befell him. Farewell Gerry.

Snip from the Meath Chronicle:


THE funeral took place in Navan yesterday (Tuesday) of Mr Gerry Delaney, who for many years ran a photography business from Market Square.

Generations of families from Navan and the surrounding area availed of the portraiture and wedding photography service provided by Mr Delaney over the years and many family albums will bear photographs carrying his stamp on the rear.

He ran his business from the Delany family home on Market Square, were he had a small studio at the rear of the premises that now houses Tommy Reilly’s newsagents.

Colr Reilly, the current Mayor of Navan, was among the Navan business community paying tribute to him and closed his shop as the funeral procession passed down Trimgate Street yesterday.

The Delaney family is one of the oldest in Navan and had links with several other long-established families around the town.

On retirement from the photography business around 30 years ago, Mr Delaney and his family moved to Bellinter Cross, Kilmessan.

He is survived by his wife, Una (nee Clarkin), family Críonna Kelly (Drogheda); Gary, Niamh Smyth, and Rory (France); brothers Padraig, Dublin, and Gussie, South Africa; sister Monica, Canada; son-in-law, William, daughters-in-law Olive and Pascale; grandchildren, great grandson, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.

The funeral took place from St Mary’s Church, to St Mary’s Cemetery, Navan, with Rev Fr Brendan Ludlow officiating.

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