Obituary: Basil Brindley

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Obituary: Basil Brindley

Keen horseman, bloodstock breeder and a player in Ireland’s ad industry


RUGBY MEETING: Basil and Maureen Brindley’s wedding
RUGBY MEETING: Basil and Maureen Brindley’s wedding

Basil Brindley, who has died aged 91, was a giant in the Irish advertising industry for decades

He was a keen horseman and breeder and was a former owner of Killeen Castle in Dunsany, County Meath, which was extensively damaged in an arson attack in 1981.

He founded Brindley Advertising with his brother Donald in 1956 and it became one of the biggest in the country with government and State agencies, and large businesses, among its clients.

One of the best-known characters in the advertising world, he was a popular figure in the horse racing and hunting community, renowned for his sense of fun and friendly nature. Born in Dublin in 1927, he was the son of a stockbroker who grew up with an enthusiasm for motorsports, both car racing and motorcycle racing. He and his brother Donald took part in motor racing and motorcycle race events all over Ireland.

He was also a rugby referee and he met his future wife Maureen at a hop at Bective Rangers rugby club in Dublin.

He worked as a sports journalist, initially for the Irish Press, specialising in motorsports. He published several books on motorsport. He began publishing a newspaper The Grand Prix and it was this experience that led him into the world of advertising.

He began working for McConnell Advertising and later set up the family company with Donald, later moving to Brindley House in Upper Mount Street.

The firm succeeded in winning several large State contracts and lucrative business with multi-nationals. The company was sold to British company Aegis in 2005 in a deal worth up to €12m.

A highly sociable person, he was a former chairman of the St Stephen’s Green Club and was its acting president when he died.

He had horsemanship in his blood. His great great grandfather Charlie was a famous Meath huntsman with a monument to him outside Ashbourne. Basil himself became a well-known bloodstock breeder and amateur rider and he shared his love of horses with his children.

He and Maureen lived at Hollyhill Stud in Brannockstown, County Kildare, before buying Killeen Castle in County Meath in a major bloodstock deal.

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They sold the property in 1989 and moved to Rathbeggan House in Dunshaughlin where the family continued to enjoy country pursuits.

Basil continued to go hunting on his horse Toffee until he was 75, always refusing to wear a helmet and choosing instead to wear a top hat.

An avid world traveller, he took his family skiing almost every year to the Wengen resort in Switzerland.

He was known as ”Banana Pants” on the ski slopes because of his choice of bright yellow colours, said his granddaughter Amy O’Brien. “He was happy to stand out in a crowd,” she told this newspaper. Wengen tourism chiefs presented him with a trophy to honour his 50 years on the local ski slopes.

“My grandfather was magnetic. He was small in stature but his heart and energy were so strong. He was generous with his thoughts, words, and his love. Strangers were welcome and he made his friends feel like giants,” she said.

When he celebrated his 90th birthday, he told The Irish Field newspaper: “I have had a wonderful life and enjoyed every day of it.”

He is survived by his wife Maureen, daughters Julie, Berenice, and Buddy and son Tony, siblings Donald, Fr Stan, and Glo, and grandchildren. His daughter Sarah died in 2011.

Sunday Independent


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