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Former Crosskeys Inn landlord Eamonn Stinson dies at his Vietnam home

The Crosskeys Inn in Toomebridge, Co Antrim, is one of the oldest pubs in Ireland

A TRADITIONAL music aficionado and former landlord of Ireland's oldest pub has died at his home in Vietnam, where he emigrated more than a decade ago.

Eamonn Stinson, who was believed to be around 70 years-old, died suddenly at his home in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.

Arrangements are being made via the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust to return his body to Northern Ireland for a funeral service and burial.

It is understood his remains will be transported to the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, in preparation for their return.

Along with his father Sean, Mr Stinson was the publican of Crosskeys Inn, off the main Randalstown to Portglenone Road, in Co Antrim from the 1970s until the early 2000s.

The pair turned the quaint pub "into a Mecca for traditional music", according to friends in the Photographs of Portglenone group of which he was a member until his death.

They remembered him in a touching tribute as "a talented singer, and, when you twisted his arm, would delight listeners with such gems as Sliabh Gallion Braes and The Rambling Irishman".

Another friend in the group, who worked at the pub in the 1980s and accompanied him to "a couple of All Ireland Fleadhs", described him as "a real character, loved the Irish music, stories and full of fun".

"Over the many years that Eamonn and his late father Sean run the Crosskeys nearly ever Irish traditional musician in Ireland had played in the bar," they said.

Eamonn Stinson, who was around 70, died suddenly at his home in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Wednesday

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