Kilkenny mourns loss of a hurling great, Denis Heaslip of Knocktopher

All-Ireland winner has passed away aged 87

Sam Matthews


Sam Matthews



Former Kilkenny hurler Denis Heaslip has passed away

Kilkenny is mourning the loss of a hurling great with the passing of Denis Heaslip of Knocktopher. He was 87.

Having made his debut in the 1957 championship, Denis would win two All-Ireland medals (1957 and 1963), with Waterford the opposition on both occasions. He won three Leinster medals and one National Hurling League medal, and was also twice an All-Ireland runner-up. His famous goal against Waterford was that depicted in the 1958 film 'Rooney'.

His local club, All-Ireland champions Ballyhale Shamrocks, paid tribute to him earlier today, describing him as 'one of the best', and recalling how he would delight in the successes of local teams over the years when the cup would visit.

"Shamrocks GAA Club are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Denis Heaslip earlier today," said the club. "Denis will be fondly remembered by all in the Club and Parish. #oneofthebest."

He passed away peacefully at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, on Wednesday, November 25. Deeply regretted by his brother Jack, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, relatives, neighbours and friends. In keeping with current HSE and Government guidelines regarding public gatherings, Requiem Mass for Denis will take place on Friday, November 27 at noon in The Carmelite Church, Knocktopher (maximum 25 people in the church). Burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

The Requiem Mass can be viewed live on and will also be available on parish radio - 106.5fm. 

Please use the online condolence page on as an option to offer your sympathies. The family would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their understanding and support at this difficult time. A memorial service will be held at a later date.