Disbelief at death of 46-year-old dad of four

Published: 5 Jul 2012 09:301 comment

A popular member of the PSNI, Ronnie Kenny - who as a teenager was with his family when they were caught up in the Darkley Hall massacre in Co. Armagh 29 years ago - died suddenly and unexpectedly at his Fermanagh home on Sunday, June 24, aged 46 years.

Ronnie Kenny.

Widespread shock and sorrow have been expressed following the passing of Ronnie, a much loved husband, father and son, late of Wilken, Garvary Hill, Enniskillen.

Following his education at the Model Primary and Enniskillen High Schools, he trained as a plumber with Pat Cox, with whom he served his apprenticeship. During that time he also went to Londonderry College, where he did a City and Guilds in plumbing.

He joined the UDR full time for a year before joining the RUC Police Reserve and then in 2003, he joined the PSNI; at his passing out parade at Garnerville he was awarded the Baton of Honour for top student. His Police service, which continued until his untimely death, took him to various parts of Northern Ireland. Among the medals he was awarded was the Queen's Jubilee Medal.

In addition he would have continued his interest in plumbing and would have lent a helping hand when needed - having been out on Christmas Day on two occasions during severe frosty weather.

Home and family were his main interests for Ronnie, who throughout his life always lived on Garvary Hill. A son of Eadie and the late Ronald Kenny, he was one in a family of four and is survived by his mother, and siblings Stephen, Rachel and Janet.

His family was in the congregation at the Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Church near Darkley, on the evening of November 20, 1983 when a shooting attack claimed three lives and others were wounded, including his mother. (The family were there to take part in the service).

Ronnie married the former Janice Allen, a daughter of Norman and Ruby (who survive him) and they made their home in Garvary, where they raised their family of four - Lisa, a student at Manchester Met. University, Philip and Amy at South West College, and Megan, a pupil at Devenish College.

Amy Kenny is the Lord Lieutenant for Fermanagh's Cadet, while Megan is a Lance Corporal in the Cadets. Last Tuesday, there was a poignant moment for the family as Amy bravely performed her role during the visit to Enniskillen by Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. She had the opportunity to meet The Queen and Prince Philip, who were made aware of the family's bereavement two days previously and they expressed their condolences to the teenager.

Ronnie's funeral service, which was very largely attended, reflecting the high regard felt for him, took place on Thursday, June 28, at Elim Church, Enniskillen, where the service was conducted by Pastor Nigel Elliott. Family members took part in the service, including his brother-in-law Steven Allen who did a reading; his brother Stephen Kenny gave the tribute and his daughter Lisa Kenny delivered the poem.

PSNI colleagues were involved in carrying the coffin and a guard of honour was formed outside the Police Station in Enniskillen en route to the cemetery. Young army cadets also performed a guard of honour as Ronnie's remains went into the church.

Burial took place at Cross Cemetery, Enniskillen. His family felt it was an amazing send-off for Ronnie, who loved his career in the Police.

Surviving Ronnie are his wife Janice and their four children; his mother Eadie and his three siblings; the wider family circle and his friends.

His wife Janice and the family circle are deeply appreciative of all his PSNI colleagues, Elim Church, family and friends for their support and kindness at this difficult time. The funeral arrangements were by Austen Stinson, of W.T. Morrison, Enniskillen.

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