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Well-regarded Man found dead in 'unexplained circumstances' described as a 'lovely, quiet and unassuming'

Married father-of-two, John Kelly, was found dead in a laneway behind some houses in the town on the Inishowen peninsula on Friday night

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Married father-of-two, John Kelly

Married father-of-two, John Kelly

Married father-of-two, John Kelly

A man found dead in "unexplained circumstances" in Co. Donegal was described as a "lovely, quiet, unassuming" fellow who would have been well-known for his work within the community of Buncrana.

Married father-of-two, John Kelly, was found dead in a laneway behind some houses in the town on the Inishowen peninsula on Friday night.

A passer-by found the body of Mr Kelly, who was in his 50s, at Knockalla Drive at around 7.30pm.

As well as sealing off the immediate area, Gardaí also secured a scene on a green area nearby. A number of officers also carried out door-to-door enquiries in a bid to trace Mr Kelly's last known movements.

The findings of the post mortem when completed will decide the direction of the Garda investigation into Mr Kelly's death.

Originally from Derry, he had lived in the area for up to 25 years and was well-regarded by the local community.

Locals have been left shocked by Mr Kelly's death.

One councillor, Nicholas Crossan, said he knew John quiet well and would have stopped to speak to him on many occasions.

"He was just a lovely, quiet, unassuming fellow who would have been well-known around Buncrana for his community work, Cllr Crossan said.

"He would have taken it upon himself to do little jobs around the area and he was well-regarded by people here."

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Gardaí seal off the area where the body of Mr Kelly was discovered

Gardaí seal off the area where the body of Mr Kelly was discovered

Gardaí seal off the area where the body of Mr Kelly was discovered

 

Cllr Crossan said the community, as was the whole country, had been following the shocking developments in Co. Offaly following the horrific murder of Ashling Murphy, when news came through that a body had been found in Buncrana.

"We were just hearing all the terrible news in Co. Offaly when we heard a body had been found here," he said.

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"And then when the name was mentioned, and I realised it was John, I was just numbed. The whole town here is shocked," he added.

Mr Crossan, who was a caretaker at St Oran's National School in Cockhill, is survived by his grieving wife Anita as well as a grown-up son and daughter. Although he was quiet, locals said he had a very strong sense of community.

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The community is said to be numb following the find of Mr Kelly’s body

The community is said to be numb following the find of Mr Kelly’s body

The community is said to be numb following the find of Mr Kelly’s body

 

In March 2020 at the start of the pandemic he set up a drive-through donation centre in Buncrana to gather PPE for frontline medical workers.

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council and Buncrana county councillor Jack Murray said the town was numb.

"Buncrana is a town which has, unfortunately, been touched by tragedy so many times before and now it has happened again.

"People are just numb by what has happened and there is a profound sense of shock that something like this could have happened. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

Parents at St Oran's school, where John was the caretaker, paid tribute to him. A post on the Parents' Association Facebook page said: "John enriched the lives of all he met. He cared for our building but more importantly, he cared for each and every one of us, from the youngest child to the oldest adult.

"May his very gentle soul Rest in Peace," the post added.

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