Inishowen bids farewell to former county councillor Denis McGonagle

The late, former Donegal County Councillor Denis McGonagle.
The late, former Donegal County Councillor Denis McGonagle.

Hundreds of mourners have bid farewell to former Donegal County Councillor Denis McGonagle as he was laid to rest in Carndonagh.

Mr. McGonagle, a father-of-three and former Fianna Fail Councillor for Inishowen with Donegal County Council passed away on Monday at the age of 77.

His Requiem Mass was celebrated by his brother Fr. Jim McGonagle at the Sacred Heart Church in his hometown and concelebrated by a number of priests from across the Diocese.

Fr. McGonagle described his brother as a man devoted to his family and a hard worker who had long dreamed of a life in politics.

He said he had “enjoyed the ups and downs of political life” and made many friends, both in his role as a county councillor and in his work down through the years.

Fr. McGonagle told how Denis had been educated in St. Patrick’s Boys’ School in Carndonagh and St. Columb’s College in Derry. He later joined a seminary but ultimately decided that priesthood wasn’t for him.

He went on to work in a family business in Clonmany which was a grocers, drapers and hardware store before he met his wife, Mary-Jo.

He also worked as a sales rep and his work was “very important to him.”

Fr. McGonagle added that the work his brother undertook throughout his life and the interaction he had with people gave him a good “platform” to run for election to the County Council.

Fr. McGonagle said the main love in Denis’ life was his family and he and his wife were “blessed” with three children, Siobhan, Denise and Hugh and 12 grandchildren, whom he was very “proud” of.

The family thanked the local community for their help over the past few days and said they were “greatly consoled” by the many tributes which have been paid to him in the days since his death.