Thursday 12 December 2019

Lumeta's Pat Donnellan dies after illness


Businessman Pat Donnellan
Businessman Pat Donnellan

Businessman Pat Donnellan has died following a short and courageous battle with motor neurone disease. He was 67.

The CEO of Lumeta, a cybersecurity specialist based in New Jersey, he had led two companies backed by one of Ireland's best-known businessmen, Michael Smurfit.

Mr Donnellan died in the US on February 18. He was a well-respected turnaround specialist having led AEP Networks, an internet security specialist to its purchase by UK-based Ultra Electronics in 2011.

He also served as group president of Moduslink Global Solutions, a global leader in supply chain manufacturing.

He was admired for his independent leadership style and ability to bolster his staff to think about the big picture while never taking their eye off smaller details. Socially, he was gregarious, with a roguish sense of humour and an easy smile that disarmed clients, investors and most of all his loyal employees. He had a near-photographic memory and was never without a pen and notepad, furiously scribbling illegible doodles that he would refer back to years later.

He was modest and relaxed about his success, and disliked ostentatious displays of pomp and wealth. His perfect day was standing among his four brothers and two sons with a pint of Guinness watching Clare hurling. He also loved cruising along the Shannon in his power boat or sitting at the back of his cruiser in the Jersey Shore with his wife Susan.

Pat was born in Parteen in Co Clare on November 6, 1950. His father Tom ran Murdon Homes - Cecil Murray, father of the former chief justice John Murray was a business parter. His mother Mary was a psychiatric nurse in St Joseph's hospital, Mulgrave Street in Limerick. He was educated at the National University of Ireland, Galway where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts specialising in mathematics and Irish. He began his working life as a labour negotiator and was named regional director of the Federated Union of Employers (now Ibec) in 1976. He later helped to keep the Neodata factories in Limerick open in 1993, saving nearly 400 jobs.

He worked until two weeks before his death from an aggressive form of motor neurone disease which he was diagnosed with in early January.

He is survived by his loving wife Susan, his children Lorna and her husband Martin Walsh, Patrick and his wife Sally, Aimee and her wife Mellissa and his son Conor. He also has cherished grandchildren Ava, Thomas, Ryan, Cliodhna, Paddy and Tom.

Relatives and friends based in America have been invited to attend a Memorial Mass on Friday, February 23 at 10.45am at St Teresa of Avila Church, Summit, NJ. Interment will be private. A memorial Mass will also be held in Killaloe, Co Clare, with details to be confirmed.

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