Photo: Thomas Gallagher
There is much sadness in Ballyshannon and the wider community at news of the death of Tommy Fingers Gallagher on Tuesday.
From Cluain Barron in the Erneside town, Tommy was a much loved character, known for, among many things, his quick wit and verbosity. Indeed, he really enjoyed poetry and could often be heard reciting the great bard himself, William Shakespeare.
Tommy also enjoyed fishing, and had a particular fondness for an Erne salmon.
He made a very striking picture on the front page of our sister paper, the Donegal Democrat, in the early 1970s, standing over a lion and looking more like a man on safari in Africa than in Donegal.
It turned out that Fossett’s Circus had come to town and one of the lions was very sick. The owner - a friend of Tommy’s - asked him to euthanize the animal, and Tommy obliged.
It is one of the many stories about Tommy Fingers Gallagher that have seeped into the local lore of Ballyshannon.
This wonderful, unique character was known and loved by many, and he will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.
Tommy is survived by his wife Claire, daughters Valentine, Shirley and Mary, sons James, WIlliam, Thomas and Timmy, and a wide circle of family and friends.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
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