FORMER Letterkenny councillor Jim Lynch was remembered as a man who made a tremendous contribution to so many aspects of life in the town at his funeral mass yesterday.
Celebrant, Fr Kevin Gillespie spoke of Mr Lynch’s many achievements during his career in local politics as well as a school principal.
“The whole community received the news of Jim’s untimely death with great shock and great sadness because of the tremendous contribution that he had made across so many aspects of the life of this town,” said Fr Gillespie.
“For a man who seemed never to be in a hurry he got so much done, it is quite amazing. He seemed to find time for everything that was important.”
Hundreds attended the funeral mass in St Eunan’s Cathedral which was con-celebrated by Fr Willie McMenamin, Fr Dinny McGettigan, Fr Cathal Ó Fearraí, Fr Paul McGeehan, and Fr Ciaran Harkin.
Mr Lynch was retired principal of Cloughfin National School, Ballindrait and a former Mayor and member of Letterkenny Town Council.
“Letterkenny was Jim’s community. He loved every street and stone, he loved the river and its valley, the families and their stories.
“He made an incredible contribution and an intelligent one in so many ways. The community centre was a cherished place for Jim. There were many others, the Letterkenny Reunion, the Tidy Towns committee, Letterkenny Heritage Group, Letterkenny Memories, he loved the GAA, and he was full of pride for his town and for the people in it.”
Mr Lynch was a driving force behind the regeneration of Church Lane and took great pleasure in the new mural.
“He was a walking encyclopedia of this town and much of this has been captured over the years in the Letterkenny annuals, a treasure trove for local historians,” added Fr Gillespie.
“One of the things that was most striking to me about Jim was his intelligence. I do not mean merely that he was a smart man, certainly he was but rather that he had a thoughtful, insightful, and constructive approach to things.
“He sowed ideas and thoughts and he was quite happy to see others run with them and to bring them to fruition. He was not selfish with his talents or greedy for acknowledgement, quite the contrary.
“He was quietly persistent in making his points and seeking the things that were for the benefit of the whole community. There was a dogged persistence in him for what is true, honest and upright and that guides people of integrity in public life and Jim I think we can say was among those.
“Like so many in the town Jim lamented the loss of the Urban District Council with its many significant achievements and honourable history going back to the election of Kate McCarry as the first woman in 1925.
“Through the Council Jim made very significant contributions to bring amenities and improvements to this town,” continued Fr Gillespie.
“It was a proud moment for him to be elected Mayor and to bear the chain of office that signified an important role of leadership in this town. But before, through and above all Jim Lynch was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and in more recent times a grandfather.
“Although his public duties demanded of Jim many sacrifices of time regarding his family it was his family that was in the end the thing of greatest and most importance to him.”
Mr Lynch is deeply regretted by Mary and his children, Cróna Kerr and her husband Tommy, Ríana Lynch and her husband Richard McCollum, Fionán Lynch, Pål Brandsdal and his partner Mona Haugen, his grandchildren Aoibh, Moya, Elliot and Indi, siblings Bridie Keys, Frances Kerr, Joan Calpin (Ballyshannon), Patsy Lynch, Cathal Lynch, Jacqueline Kelly, Brenda McClafferty, Katrina Murphy (Dublin), Linda Elliot, Fidelma Gallagher, in-laws, friends, relatives and neighbours.
Following Sunday’s funeral mass Mr Lynch was laid to rest in Conwal Cemetery.