Wednesday, August 12, 2009

James McAllister RIP.

James was my Uncle (through marriage), he passed away last week after a courageous battle with cancer. James was a good man, and he'll be missed.
As per the death notice:
Family flowers only. Donations in lieu to Sr. Magdalene for Solace or to any member of the family or to Robert Faulkners undertaker.
http://www.donegaldemocrat.ie/donegalnews/Death-of-Donegal-Town-businessman.5538089.jp

Thanks to the Donegal Democrat for reporting on this (and I hope they don't mind me borrowing most of their article):

Donegal Town's St Patrick's Church was packed to capacity last Monday week for the funeral Mass of James McAllister. A leading local businesman, starting up his drinks distribution company over 30 years ago, in recent times passing same over to his son Fergal.

His popularity and the esteem in which he was held was reflected by the huge numbers who attended at his Mass, celebrated by Fr Willie Peoples PP, Tawnawilly.

In his 73rd year, his courageous and lengthy battle against cancer, displayed great Christian fortitude and the overall positive attitude James had to life and his great love of Donegal. Among his many passions was political debate and would think nothing of spending several hours in a casual street meeting discussing the current state of the nation.

A person possessed of a great social conscience and kindness, he often made readily available the company lorries at no charge for either community events or to the ordinary individual seeking to just move house furniture. A great ambassador for Donegal and all things associated. In recent years his taxi business ferried visitors to countywide historical areas, where James’s detailed knowledge always was to come to the fore. A fact that his customers always appreciated, which left a positive lasting impression of Donegal in their minds.

An avid sports enthusiast, had a great love for hurling which he always attributed to the fact that his late parents originated from the hurling heartlands of Galway and Antrim. For many years he also followed the trials and tribulations of the Irish Rugby team. A life long member of Donegal Town Snooker Club which he regularly visited during the course of his illness, to meet, debate, socialise and have the ‘craic’ with friends. On the GAA scene, even though an avid Donegal supporter, his admiration of Tyrone, their style of play, and manager Mickey Harte was no secret, that he often spoke of this team as the ultimate at their sport. One of James lasting memories was meeting Mickey Harte when the Tyrone manager visited him at Donegal Hospice in Letterkenny a month ago.

Born in the heart of Donegal Town, the McAllister family lived in Quay Street, with their late dad, Charlie, a member of the Garda Siochana who was respected and loved by the community he served with distinction. A period of sadness which James often spoke about, was the untimely death of his young brother Johnny, the youngest member of this large family, drowned in a fishing trawler accident off Howth Head in the 1970’s.

As the funeral cort├Ęge of James McAllister wound its way to St Agatha’s Cemetery Clar, many were seen to openly weep a the loss of a true Donegal man whose passing has saddened the hearts of the community he loved so much. Sincere sympathy is extended to his wife Isabel, daughters Tracey and Petrina, sons Romauld,Fergal, Charlie, Darragh,seven grandchildren, brothers and sisters, all other relatives and friends.
I hear that the priest said at the funeral, that when he arrived at the house to give James the last rites, James muttered at him:
Your late.

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