Newry businessman Brian Conlon's funeral will be held at 1pm tomorrow (Wednesday 31 July) in Newry Cathedral and many representatives of the global business community are expected to attend in tribute to the man who put Newry on a global stage.

Mr Conlon passed away in Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry on Sunday. The First Derivatives founder and CEO lived in Carlingford in recent years.

Tributes have continued to pour in for the 53 year old with the general underlying consensus that he was a man who transformed the city and put Newry on a global footing.

Brian Conlon in 2005 when First Derivatives had 60 employees. The company now has well over 2400. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
Brian Conlon in 2005 when First Derivatives had 60 employees. The company now has well over 2400. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

Tributes from the Business World

Paul Convery, President, Newry Chamber of Commerce expressed his condolences to Mr Conlon's family on behalf of the chamber saying “Brian was an inspirational business leader with his heart in Newry but most of all, he was a family man and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.”

“Through First Derivatives plc, Brian put the city of Newry on the global map. He created rewarding and exciting career opportunities not just for the young people of Newry but for many graduates from around the world who came to Newry to start their careers.”

Newry BID expressed their condolences "Brian was totally committed to Newry on every level. Through First Derivatives Plc he helped regenerate Newry with high quality jobs and investment in premises.

"He supported the local economy by using local suppliers at every opportunity. On a personal and private he did so much for the local community on a private and altruistic basis.

"Brian created a world class business from and in Newry and was proud to remain a man of Newry. His passing is a huge loss to Newry. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time."

Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest NI spoke of his deep sadness hearing about Mr Conlon's death and said “Brian was a true entrepreneur with the vision and commitment to set up First Derivatives and grow it into the global business it has become.

"I have witnessed first-hand, Brian’s personal drive and ability which has been pivotal in establishing Northern Ireland as a global centre of excellence for Financial Services technology. Brian was also deeply attached to his home city of Newry, and ensured that the success of First Derivatives as a company had a positive impact on the wider community. 

“I extend sincere sympathy to Brian's family at this sad time and recognise that his passing will be strongly felt across our business community.”

Tributes from the Sporting World

Down GAA board passed on their sympathies to the family of Mr Conlon, a former county player

"It is with great sadness today that we have learned of the death of Brian Conlon, a former County Footballer and great friend of Down GAA. Brian was one of the most talented footballers to wear the Red and Black in the mid 1980's before injury cut short what could have been a most promising career. 

"Brian was a great friend to Down GAA in so many ways, quietly and without ceremony he made a difference to the County just as he made a difference for his home city of Newry, where he created employment and never ever forgot his roots.

"On behalf of Down GAA we extend our sympathies to Brian's wife Julie, his beloved children, his mum Josephine, sister Kathy, brother Ciaran and the entire Conlon family circle . 

"Brian Conlon truly was a great son of Down - Ar dheis De go raibh a anam."


Mr Conlon's former GAA Club Newry Mitchel's said "Brian was an outstanding underage Footballer for Mitchels and his School , The Abbey CBS and went on to represent the club and his county, Down GAA with honour at senior Level. 

Only for a serious injury to cut short his club and county career at an early age. Brian continued to be a great supporter to the GAA throughout his life. 

Brian also contributed massively to the Newry area and supported our young people and those from the surrounding areas through his Business First Derivative's whose headquarters remain based in Newry."

The Asian County Board which was sponsored by First Derivatives for many years said Mr Conlon was "An entrepreneur, visionary and passionate Co Down man

"His company has many employees in our region and most of them members of our clubs. He played Senior football for Down and was a keen attendee at matches all around the country. He fought his battle against cancer with great bravery."

Further Tributes

Mickey Brady MP said he was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Brian "a true ambassador of Newry. A man who believed in and unleashed the huge potential of his local area. His untimely loss will be greatly felt."

Abbey Grammar School spoke of their former pupil as "An Abbey man who changed the lives of so many in our community and gave opportunities to countless past pupils."


Following Mr Conlon's Funeral at 1pm in Newry Cathedral he will be buried in Monkshill Cemetery, Newry.

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