OBITUARY

Johnny Coughlin, a hugely popular character in south Donegal

Michael Daly

Reporter:

Michael Daly

Email:

michael.daly@donegaldemocrat.com

Johnny Coughlin, a hugely popular character in south Donegal

The late Johnny Coughlin

The funeral will take place this Thursday morning of John (Johnny) Coughlin, late of Ardfarna, who was one of the most popular characters the area has known.
No matter where you met him or when you met him, Johnny had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face.
Most people knew him from his time in Dorrian’s Imperial Hotel behind the bar, or more often than not up in The Thatch or in Owen Roes. If Johnny addressed you when you came in as “Well Mr Daly” it wasn’t that he didn’t know your first name, it was his way of starting the slagging and boy was he good at it.
He had a great sense of humour and he kept things jovial - even when he became ill - an illness that eventually would get the better of him.
Work colleagues loved him. He was good at his job, but he was relaxed too, there was never any great need to panic and he always got there, no matter how hectic the night, how big the queue.
But the bar work wasn’t the whole story. Johnny worked for 45 years in the MNC - starting there in 1961 down The Mall and in more recent years out in Portnason where the company traded as Western Wholesale.
A good worker always, his easy way ensured he got on well with customers and colleagues alike. We worked together there - a summer job - and I learned more from Johnny and the gang that summer than you'd ever learn at school. The MNC really was an education in itself.
But his working story had an earlier start than 1961 and the MNC. At the age of 13, in 1960, he started his working life washing bottles behind the bar in John McKenna’s pub.
When he retired from the MNC Johnny loved nothing more than to spend time with his grandchildren and more recently great grandchildren, he idolised them.
In recent years he had a routine in the morning, kettle on and down to Pearse O’Neill's for the paper, returning to a boiled kettle and a cup of tea and bit of time scanning the racing pages before he would return to town to place a few bets.
Apart from the horses he loved to watch football on the telly and was a great supporter of Donegal.
A good dancer, there was never a Wednesday night in The Thatch when Johnny wouldn’t slip out from behind the bar for five minutes to have a wee jive. A big smile always and how he would glide across the stone floor.
In his 70th year, Johnny passed away at Sligo University Hospital earlier this week.
His wake saw hundreds attend at the family home and was a reflection of the great regard and love there is for Johnny and the wider Coughlin family. Removal from there this Thursday morning for his funeral mass which will be celebrated in St. Joseph’s Church, The Rock at 11 am with interment in the adjoining cemetery.
He is survived by his wife Maureen, daughters Martina and Siobhan, sons Sean and Shane, grandsons, Damien, Daragh, Cian and Jack, grand daughter Leona; great grand daughters, Clara and Katie; brothers, Seamus, Christy, Barney; sisters, Betty and Yvonne, to whom deepest sympathy is extended.