Great sadness greeted news of the passing of Strokestown businessman and GAA activist Dónal Kerins yesterday (Wednesday) morning. Mr. Kerins passed away at Roscommon County Hospital having suddenly taken ill this week. He was President of Strokestown GAA Club and was proprietor of the popular ‘Dónal’s Bar’ on Church Street. The late Mr. Kerins (81) is mourned by his wife Teresa, his daughters Helen, Rosita, Anne and Sheila, his grandchildren, and by a wide circle of friends. Mr. Kerins was known throughout Ireland as a patron of the Gaelic Athletic Association. A native of Grange, Sligo, and a strong supporter of his home county, he was also a keen follower of Roscommon teams. The deceased attended the Roscommon National Football League match in Crossmaglen, Armagh, last Sunday. He visited Croke Park for the last time on Monday where he watched the All-Ireland Club finals. Mr. Kerins moved to Strokestown in 1962. Tributes were paid on Wednesday evening to the deceased by the chairperson of Strokestown GAA Club and by local public representatives. ‘Dónal Kerins was a very decent and very honourable man. He was an avid supporter of Strokestown GAA Club and was also a prominent supporter of the National Association. Dónal spent his life travelling to football matches around Ireland with his friends,’ said Mr. Martin Silke (Strokestown chairperson). ‘He was an unassuming man who nevertheless had a great capacity to tell stories about football matches that he attended in the past. He was a very descriptive story-teller and we all enjoyed listening to him talking about the 1943 All-Ireland football final between Roscommon and Cavan that he attended,’ commented Mr. Silke. Cllr. Seán Beirne and Cllr. Eugene Murphy also paid tributes. ‘Dónal Kerins’s sudden death has saddened everybody locally. His passing has robbed the town and the area of one of its characters. He spent over forty happy years in Strokestown and was enjoyed by everybody. Over the years I became friendly with Dónal and enjoyed talking to him about a wide range of things. He was a great supporter of traditional music, of the GAA, and of all community projects,’ said Cllr. Murphy. Strokestown Development Association also expressed its sympathy to the Kerins family. Strokestown GAA club will form a guard of honour at the funeral on Easter Saturday. The deceased will repose at his home on Church Street, Strokestown, from 12.00 p.m. on Good Friday until removal to the Parish Church for funeral liturgy at noon on Easter Saturday. The burial will take place at Kilcooley cemetery in Tulsk afterwards. The O’Rourke Cup game between and Strokestown and St. Barry’s has been cancelled as a mark of respect to the late Mr. Kerins. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.