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28 May 2022

Tributes paid to former Donegal hotelier and community stalwart Jim Deeney

The Rathmullan man was the proprietor of the Pier Hotel and was fully immersed in his community

Tributes paid to former Donegal hotelier and community stalwart Jim Deeney

The late Jim Deeney ‘had his community at heart’

Tributes have been paid to former Rathmullan hotelier and businessman Jim Deeney.

Mr Deeney passed away at his Rathmullan home on Tuesday at the age of 92. 

He was the former owner of the Pier Hotel, which was a focal point of the town for over a century until it closed in 2002. 

The hotel was built on a site bought by his great grandfather in the 1870s.

As well as running the hotel with his wife Anne, he was well known as a community figure and did much to help develop the town and its tourism industry.  He was also involved in local heritage and was a prominent figure in the Rathmullan Enterprise Group. Mr Deeney also had a keen interest in politics and was an active member of Fine Gael in the county.

Donegal Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh paid tribute to him as “somebody who was the go-to person in the community”.

“He always made himself available. He had a keen interest in Rathmullan,” he said.  

“He was a Rathmullan man through and through and had a great knowledge of people and families and connections, not just within the town, but in the wider rural area. He stayed connected with the people. He has his community at heart but he also had his people at heart and he was very much part and parcel of Rathmullan.”

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In terms of politics, he was “a background man”.

“He was always there to go canvassing. He was a grassroots operator. He was always good for wise counsel. He had a great grasp of where things were at politically on the ground.” 

Rathmullan Celtic Football Club also paid tribute to him for his support for the club over the years.

He is survived by his wife Anne, daughters Mary and Eithne, sons Brian, Paul and Brendan and brother, Fr Eddie Deeney.

His funeral takes place on Thursday at 11am in St Joseph’s Church, Rathmullan.

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