By Harry walsh
THE news of the sad and sudden passing of Donegal Gaelic football legend John Hannigan has shocked the county.
John (75) passed away after a very short illness earlier today in St James’ Hospital, Dublin. His remains will repose in the Eternal Light Chapel of Rest, Mountain Top, from 8.30pm this evening going to his late residence at 3 Knocknamona Terrace, Letterkenny on Thursday.
Requiem Mass will take place in St Eunan’s Cathedral at 11am on Saturday morning with burial afterwards to Conwal Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife Claire, son Damien (San Francisco), daughter Adrienne (Termon), grandchildren, his sisters Sally in Dublin, Brid O’Donnell (Ballyraine) and Maura Curley, Donegal Town. He was predeceased by his brother Seamus.
A retired psychiatric nurse in St Conal’s Hospital, John was one of the most talented players ever to pull on a Donegal jersey.
The St Eunan’s club-man played for Donegal for 16 consecutive championship seasons from 1958 to 1973 and won an Ulster Senior Championship medal in 1972.
In all he played 114 times for Donegal including 27 championship appearances. His inter county successes included three Dr McKenna Cups (1963, ‘65, ‘67) and three Lagan Cups (1965, ‘66, ‘67). John was corner forward on the Donegal minor team that won the Ulster Minor Championship for the first time in 1956.
For St Eunan’s he won five senior championship medals and three Democrat Cup medals.
After his playing days were over, he was manager of Donegal in 1975 and 1976.