OBITUARY: Dunfanaghy says a final farewell to Michael Durning

A much respected member of the local community, deceased was instrumental in the setting up of Dunfanaghy Boxing Club

Michael Durning

The funeral took place on Friday, January 29 of Michael Durning

There was widespread regret in the local community recently on the death of Michael Durning, Main Street, Dunfanaghy.

Michael was a much respected, popular and active member of the local community.

Michael during his lifetime spent time living and working in big cities such as London and Glasgow but his childhood was spent far away from these great metropolises living with his parents Paddy and Nancy in the remote and lovely landscape of The Ross in Horn Head overlooking Sheephaven Bay. Michael was born in The Ross on Good Friday 1935.
He had great memories of his childhood living in The Ross and of the local characters and the events of his youth. He faced a steep three mile walk to and from school summer and winter and there was no time off for bad weather. You either went and got wet or stayed home and got a scolding for not going the next day.
After a while like most young men of this era, at the age of 18 Michael was forced to emigrate first of all to London. He couldn’t get work there so he went to Glasgow where he worked on building sites for a while.
He travelled over and back to the UK for the next 10 or 12 years, before returning home to live on the Main Street in Dunfanaghy with his wife Bridie who he married in 1967 and where they raised their family.
Michael also spent time fishing on the Foyle. This was a major seasonal employer at the time and many men from the area went there every summer for the salmon fishery.
Michael was very interested in the sport of boxing and was instrumental in the setting up of Dunfanaghy Boxing Club which he has been associated with since the very beginning and he was a familiar figure at boxing tournaments throughout Donegal and beyond along with Eddie Harkin.
For his lifetime dedication to Dunfanaghy Boxing Club, Michael received lifetime achievement awards from the Donegal Boxing Board and also in the USA in recent years.
Michael also had a great interest in politics and in earlier years the Durning home on the Main Street around election time and also when it hosted the monthly or weekly clinics for the late Neil Blaney.
Michael was also a man of great faith and was a regular attender at the daily Mass and 10am Sunday Mass in Holy Cross Church, Dunfanaghy.
During his Homily at the funeral Mass on Friday, January 29, Fr Martin Doohan, PP Dunfanaghy, said that one of the duties that Michael undertook for the parish was showing new parish priests around the houses in the parish. He had performed this task for eleven priests ending with Father Doohan when he came to Dunfanaghy 14 years ago.
The prayers were read by Michael’s grandchildren Alannah Durning, Jordan Hall and Brianna Durning. A reflection on her father's life was given at the end of the Mass by his daughter Breda Lally.
The deepest sympathy of the community is extended to his wife Bridie and family Ann Marie, Breda, Hugo, Patrick and Michael, in laws, grandchildren, sister Breda and family in London, nieces and nephews and to the entire family circle.
Michael’s remains were removed to Holy Cross Church on Friday for 12 noon Mass as friends and neighbours stood socially distanced stood along the route from his home on the Main Street to to the Church.
A guard of honour was provided by the members of Dunfanaghy Boxing Club and Michael’s coffin was accompanied from his home to Holy Cross Church by his great lifelong friends Neily Gallagher, Michael McColgan, Denis Ferry and Shaun Murphy who represented his late father John.
The celebrant at the funeral Mass was Fr Martin Doohan PP Dunfanaghy who also officiated at the graveside in Holy Cross Cemetery.

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