THERE WAS much sadness at the death of Jim McDonnell, "Kilbarry" Monasterboice, Co. Louth, who passed away aged 78.
Son of James and Elizabeth McDonnell, Jim is survived by his beloved wife Paula (nee Halley) and children, Karen, Michele, Julie, James, Paul, Nicola, Linda, Nicholas, his 12 grandchildren, sisters and brothers in law, daughters and dons in law.
Predeceased by his brother Tom and sadly missed by his sisters, Breda, May, Sheila, Betty and their families.
Jim was educated in Tenure Primary School and later in Marist College, Dundalk. Jim met his beloved Paula while she was nursing in the Lourdes Hospital, they married in 1969 and had eight children. Jim had many interests but family was his No. 1. He was adored by his children, who looked up to him in every way.
Jim was one of life's gentlemen, kind, funny, honourable, wise and dedicated to everybody especially those he loved.
He was an ardent dairy farmer who loved the land and all things nature, he was a very good stock man who had an eye for a good animal.
Jim was happiest walking the fields early in the morning with the dog by his heel.
He loved nothing more than a chat and a conversation with his sense of humour always prevailing, the more craic the better!
Over the days of the funeral the family were amused by the stories and devilment he used to get up to. He always had a glint in his eye and enjoyed comedy on television, you could hear his laughs throughout the house. Jim was a man of the community, he was involved with the local IFA, Monasterboice Graveyard Committee and Naomh Martin GAA.
Jim was a keen sportsman and played for Naomh Fionnbarra and Naomh Martin. He was also extremely proud to wear the red and white jersey of Louth. He was heavily involved in Naomh Martin both on and off the field.
He was an integral part of setting up the underage teams. He had many successes in the Drogheda Leagues.
Jim had an interest in all sports ranging from, GAA, rugby and cricket to name but a few. He had an enormous interest in both current affairs and politics.
Jim had a long term illness; he fought his illness with amazing dignity, courage and integrity.
Jim was cared for at home by his devoted wife Paula and family.
This would not have been possible without the wonderful help of the Carers, Drogheda Day Care Centre, Boyne View House, Palliative Care Team, Dr Kearney, Dr O'Brien and Fr Hickey.
The Carers helped put a smile on Jim's face through both the good and the bad days.
The family will be forever grateful for that. A special mention must be given to Jim's friends and neighbours who visited him regularly throughout his illness.
Jim's family would like to acknowledge the overwhelming support from people who travelled from near and far to pay their respects. There is no doubt Jim would have been humbled by the large volume of mourners in attendance following his death on July 21st last. It was evident from the huge numbers who came to Monasterboice over those few days, that Jim was held in the highest esteem. This will always be of great comfort to the family.
Jim would have been so proud of the Guard of Honour provided by Naomh Martin for his final journey.
Jim was laid to rest in Monasterboice Graveyard, which is adjacent to his home, and surrounded by the land he farmed for all those years.
He will be sadly missed by all, but in particular his family. He leaves a massive void in their lives, but he will live on in each one of them.
Paula will miss her best friend. His children will miss having the most supportive, lovable, funny and inspiring dad. The man they always looked up to in every way. His grandchildren will miss their 'Pops' who brought a smile to their faces. I know Jim will live on in the legacy he leaves behind, his wife, his children and grandchildren.
May you Jim McDonnell rest in peace.
If we all live and love as you did, we all would be better people.