The late Ivan Diver
Ballyshannon and indeed the wider area of South West Donegal has great cause to remember the late Ivan Diver with exceptional affection.
And, if the definition of a gentleman is one who tries to inflict the least possible pain on others, then 71-year-old Ivan Diver from Coolcholly, was just that.
More importantly he was the epitome of the good neighbour, the supremely talented electrician for whom no job was too small, and was always ready to help when people had an emergency.
Ivan was a man of his word and when he said he was calling, you could bet your life on just that, and there are many hundreds of homes all over South Donegal and well beyond, and environs that have good reason to remember with genuine affection.
As one of his friends, told the Democrat;
“Ivan may not have had too many relations but he had loads of friends, he grew on you very quickly and he had a word for everyone”.
That would be putting it mildly, for like Kipling, Ivan had the natural social skills to walk and talk “with commoners and kings”.
And he had the priceless gift of treating everyone the same, and was also walking encyclopaedia on the social history of South Donegal and beyond, for he never forgot a face or a family.
Ivan was born to William and Elizabeth Diver in Coolmore, Rossnowlagh in 1946.
He worked with the ESB at a young age and was very popular with all his colleagues until his retirement around a decade ago.
Indeed he worked over large parts of County Donegal in his long career as a highly respected craftsman.
And he was a maintenance man with the Donegal Democrat for many years as well as McCaffrey’s Quarries, many of the bakeries and many other businesses in the area.
It was no surprise that a huge crowd packed into St Anne’s Church, Ballyshannon in the arms of a summer afternoon to say farewell one of the region’s best loved citizens.
Canon Brian Russell conducted a beautiful, touching and fitting ceremony along with Canon John Deane from Ardara.
Father Patsy McDermott also took part in the ceremony and Ivan’s great friend and former Cluan Barron neighbour Phonsie Travers paid a moving tribute to Ivan, in Phonsie’s own inimitable way.
And a great sportsman, musician and another Cluan Barron neighbour, Michael Gallagher, played the saxophone before Ivan was laid to rest.
The huge cross community crowd was testament to the fact that Ivan Diver was truly a man for all seasons.
May his kind, gentle and witty soul rest in peace on storied Mullaghnashee, high above the town he loved so well.