Tributes paid to farmer who died while repairing shed damaged by Hurricane Ophelia
Tributes have been paid to a Wicklow farmer who died while repairing damage caused to his sheds during Hurricane Ophelia.
John Donnelly of Kilmacanogue was putting up a pipe at the family farm when a gust of wind caused a gate to knock over his ladder, according to the Bray People.
"John was a lovely, lovely gentleman," said Cllr Christopher Fox, a friend and neighbour of the Donnelly family told the local newspaper.
"I have never met anyone who had a bad word to say about him. He was such a brilliant family man and such a devoted community volunteer. He was involved with numerous voluntary organisations and gave more than he ever took."
John would turn his hands to anything the Bray People reports and he was a champion ploughman, an activity requiring great hands and a keen eye, and was secretary of the Wicklow Ploughing Society.
He had a marvellous collection of tractors and was chairman of the Wicklow Vintage Association. The association said in a statement that John was 'one of life's gentlemen'.
He was heavily involved in the development of the new GAA clubhouse in Kilmacanogue, and its construction will be his legacy. He was a lifelong member and loyal supporter of Kilmac GAA. He was a playing member in his younger years, but will be more recently remembered for his tireless work on the development of the clubhouse and grounds.
A former architect with Irish Lights, the skills and experience he brought to the club were priceless.
"John was a thorough gentleman with a positive attitude towards life," said Kilmacanogue GAA in a statement.
"He sought solutions to problems rather than be defeated by them. He offered positive encouragement and instilled self-belief in many younger people over several generations.
"He commanded huge respect in his unassuming quiet way and he led by example. We are heartbroken."
John is survived by his wife Mary, his daughters Orla and Fiona, sisters Anne and Eilish, sons-in-law Larry and Brendan, grandchildren Eamon, Aoife, Ciara, Aisling and Lisa, and all of his relatives and friends.