Tributes have been pouring in for former Buncrana chairman Jim Ferry who passed away on Sunday.
Inishowen TD and party colleague Padraig MacLochlainn told the Journal Mr Ferry was a ‘highly respected republican who had dedicated decades of his life to the service of the people of Donegal and Derry’.
Mr Ferry, who was originally from Carrigans, had served on Donegal County Council for eight years from 1991 to 1999 and on Buncrana Town Council for over ten years - from 1991 to 2001. He served as chariman of Buncrana Town Council from 1997 to 1998.
Deputy McLochlainn said: “Jim Ferry was a highly respected republican who had dedicated decades of his life to the service of the people of Donegal and Derry. From enduring a hunger strike for 47 days in the Curragh to becoming Chairman of his local town council, he carried his republican responsibilities with decency and dignity.
“He will always be fondly remembered for his courage at the time of the assassination of his close friend Cllr Eddie Fullerton and the way that he accepted the responsibility of taking Eddie’s town council seat and successfully winning back Eddie’s county council seat in June 1991.
“On behalf of Sinn Féin and republicans across the North West of Ireland and beyond, I convey our deepest sympathy to his partner Jeanie, son, Noel and extended family. Go ndeanfaidh trocaire uirthi”.
Buncrana Mayor Nicholas Crossan also paid tribute to Mr Ferry, who he described as a ‘true gentleman’.
He told the Journal: “First of all Jim was a gentleman, I had never ever found him any other way.
“He was a good friend, I met him a couple of times in the social scene and I found him the best of craic. Jim worked very hard on the council, he wasn’t one of these guys who made a big song and dance, he just got the work done quietly. He represented all the people of Buncrana and I extend my deepest sympathies to his family.”
At yesterday’s Donegal County Council meeting councillors held a minute’s silence and adjourned the council meeting for ten minutes as a mark of respect.
Mayor Noel McBride paid tribute to Mr Ferry and extended sympathies on behalf of the council to his family.
Fianna Fail councillor Rena Donaghey said she knew Mr Ferry very well. “He was a great support and we were colleagues and personal friends. He worked very hard for the people of Buncrana and Donegal. He was very, very happy living in Buncrana for all those years.”
Fine Gael councillor Bernard McGuiness said Mr Ferry was a very good public representative who got on extremely well with everyone and was well liked. “He was very concerned for the people he represented and for Inishowen.”
Labour councillor Martin Farren said Mr Ferry was a true gentleman who will be sadly missed in Buncrana and the surrounding area.