Town comes to standstill to pay tribute to pioneering Donegal businessman

Late Paul Reynolds laid to rest in Letterkenny today

Town comes to standstill to pay tribute to pioneering Donegal businessman

The funeral cortège for the late Paul Reynolds stops outside his business premises in Letterkenny

Letterkenny came to a standstill this (Thursday) morning as the funeral cortège of prominent local businessman, Paul Reynolds, made its way through the town to his final resting place at Conwal cemetery.

Mr Reynolds (67) passed away at his home last Tuesday following a period of ill health.

He had built up a considerable and highly respected business in the auctioneers, estate agents and valuers sector.

His firm, Property Partners, is the acknowledged expert in the market with the company operating a property portfolio that covers most of the county.

In his homily at the Requiem Mass in the Church of the Irish Martyrs, Ballyraine Very Rev Fr Brian Quinn PP said Mr Reynolds was a man taken too soon.

"Our hope, our prayer and our expectation now is that Paul Reynolds has found a comfortable eternal dwelling place, appropriately too because in his life and work he found many of those for others. Now we pray and hope that he shares it himself eternally," he said.

He asked the Reynolds family and friends to reflect on their own memories of Mr Reynolds as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, cousin, uncle, work colleague, friend and member of the community.

"Such reflection will unearth many treasures and make sure that the story and the warmth of his life will shine in memory as he will remain in our prayerful memory as well. Paul Reynolds, you are now in God's hands, in his care eternally. May you want for nothing as you dwell in the Lord's own house for ever and ever," he said.

Daughter, Lauren, delivered a moving tribute outlining Mr Reynolds business career and family life. She spoke of his tenacity as a businessman who never entertained the idea of giving up once he had an idea he believed in.

"He was fiercely independently minded and loved to take risks with an unwavering and sometimes misplaced faith that his bets would pay off.

"The Courtyard Shopping Centre was first opened in 1993 and it was a particular source of pride to Paul. Realizing what seemed an unlikely ambition in a then much smaller Letterkenny required a remarkable combination of self belief, determination and willingness to take a gamble."

She added he was a friend to many especially to those who worked alongside him for years and paid a particular tribute to her mother, Marie, for her care for her husband and her family through the years.

"Paul showed great strength and bravery throughout his life, typified in his resolve when facing his diagnosis two years ago. Paul never let the illness overcome him and he brought his usual tenacity searching for treatment options at home and abroad which  allowed him much more time than predicted by his doctors to spend with friends and family.

"Paul Reynolds was a gent and a scholar, a pioneering businessman in Letterkenny, a husband, a father and friend. He was full of contradictions but one thing that held through was his enthusiasm for life. This is not a tragedy but a life only half lived. This is a celebration of a man who took life by the horns, experienced all the highs and lows and relished every second, " she said.

Hundreds of mourners lined the route of the funeral cortège  from the church to the graveyard to pay their last respects. The hearse and mourners paused for a spell outside his offices on Lower Main Street as staff at the Courtyard Shopping Centre performed a guard of honour and sang Silent Night in his memory.

The late Mr Reynolds is survived by his wife Marie (Kennedy Reynolds) and sons, Austin and David (Dublin), daughters, Karen (Dublin), Kristine, Lauren, (Letterkenny), sisters Anne Kavanagh (Ballinamore), Breda McWeeney (Longstone Leitrim), brothers Sean (Leixlip, Joe (Letterkenny) and Paschal (Longstone Leitrim), grandchildren Conall and Teddy, sons-in-law Donal Harford (Dublin), Gary McGill and Ronan Doherty (Letterkenny), daughters-in-law Vanessa Santos Reynolds (Letterkenny) and Satareh Shekouhi (Dublin), in-laws, relatives and friends.

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