There has been a large outpouring of sadness following the death of a retired Donegal businessman who was described as one of the most industrious of his generation.
The late Willie Cunningham, East End, Bundoran and late of Gannew, Glencolmcille was buried last Saturday in Bundoran.
Willie was a much respected and dedicated businessman in the resort town over many decades and was most associated with the former Palace Hotel on Main Street, which he owned.
He later ran a number of successful business ventures in his native Glencolmcille including the local hotel and golf course.
At one stage, he also ran a number of successful pub businesses in the UK.
Friendly and approachable
Of a friendly and approachable nature, the deceased was also remembered for his then innovative roller skating disco, that he constructed at his premises in the East End of the town.
Many will also recall that Willie always seemed to have a pipe in his hand or close to him.
It was as much part of his character, as was his finely contoured beard, that he had for many years.
Willie would have also enjoyed a flutter on the horses and really enjoyed the banter and camaraderie which surrounded it, as much as the bet itself.
Deceased was a man who had a great interest in politics and its workings.
He was a strong advocate of local representation and a big supporter of the late Neil Blaney.
Local Cllr Michael McMahon recalled a man that was full of life and innovation.
He said that Willie's contribution to the town over the decades was manifold and created much needed local employment, especially as the town developed in the 1970s and 1980s.
Far sighted individual
“He was a very decent and honourable man and his death was a great shock in the town,” Cllr McMahon recalled.
“Willie was a very funny man, who enjoyed 'the craic'. He was also a very inventive and far sighted individual.
“He had some great ideas and was a great conversationalist and good company.”
Removal from his late residence East End, took place on Saturday morning last.
The cortege travelled along the Main Street, arriving at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Bundoran for 11am Funeral Mass, with many locals showing their respect as the cortege passed them by.
Interment followed afterwards in St Ninnidh's Cemetery.
Adhering to the current Level 5 restrictions, Willie's funeral Mass was private to family.
Sadly missed by his heartbroken wife Kathleen, daughters, sons, brother Francie, sisters Ann, Ellen and Mairead, relatives, friends and neighbours, to whom deepest sympathy is extended.
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