The Tyrone and Northern greyhound community have lost another long-standing member with the death on Monday night of Noel Devlin, Dungannon after some time of illness.
Noel's interest in dogs started at his native Oaks Park track in Dungannon with his late brother Teddy and he was a regular attendee whether racing or spectating.
Noel also wrote a racing report for the local papers and added his own wit and fun to the proceedings. It was a great source of assistance and pride that his eldest son Eamon later joined him with the dogs and took out a trainer's licence. Together they raced many dogs under the Ross prefix in Dundalk, Drumbo, Lifford and Shelbourne Park.
With Eamon working full time, retired bus-driver Noel wouldn’t be idle as he and his good friend Cathal McCloskey kept the kennels going. In Noel's Ulsterbus days, when on the late Belfast to Dungannon express, you were assured of a speedy run home so he could make the dogs that evening.
Noel also had strong GAA links as a former player with both the Clarkes football and Eoghan Ruadh hurling clubs. He played county hurling for Tyrone and went on to serve in many roles for the hurling club, most notably as President in recent years. After his playing days were over Noel spent many years as an Ulster Council match steward and suffered no fools or hard luck stories at the turnstiles. He had only retired from this duty a couple of years ago due to failing health.
WE send on our sincerest condolences to his wife Marie, sons Eamon, John and Martin, brother Paddy (USA) and sister Ann (McDonnell), his beloved grandchildren and his extended family.
May He Rest In Peace.
Noel's funeral will take place tomorrow morning at 10 00 in St Patrick's Dungannon with burial in Carland Road cemetery.