Republic of Ireland news

John Kelly Buncrana death: Gardaí issue appeal for witnesses

Scene inside St Oran's National School in Buncrana where John Kelly was the school caretaker. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

GARDAÍ in Donegal issued an appeal for information last night after the body of a man from Derry was found in Buncrana.

John Kelly, a married father-of-two in his fifties, was found dead in a laneway behind houses at Knockalla Drive at around 7.30pm on Friday.

Originally from Derry, Mr Kelly had lived in Buncrana for around 25 years.

He was the caretaker at St Oran's National School in Cockhill.

Mr Kelly also helped gather personal protection equipment for health workers at the start of the pandemic.

A post mortem has been completed but gardaí have not released details "for operational reasons”.

Dozens of people held a prayer vigil, led by parish priest Fr Francis Bradley, in the grounds of St Oran's on Saturday.

People also lined up to sign a book of condolence.

Parents at the school said Mr Kelly had enriched their lives.

A post on the Parents' Association Facebook page read: "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."

Known for his community work, Mr Kelly set up a drive-through donation centre in Buncrana to gather personal protection equipment for frontline medical workers at the start of the pandemic.

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