Shock at passing of well-known character Seamus ‘Freen’ McDonnell

Seamus McDonnell

By Lyle McMullan

One of the great characters in the Cloughmills district and beyond, Seamus McDonnell, has died suddenly.

Affectionately known as ‘Freen’, Seamus, who was in his early 70’s, was one of those instantly recognisable figures who was known and liked the length and breadth of the country.

His passing on June 11 at his home at Princess Gardens came as a great shock to the community.

Earlier, he had been out and about in the village with no shortage of friends wanting to engage in conversation and you always knew when he was around with his trademark greeting of ‘Right Sham’ accompanied by that familiar sideways hand movement.

A poem was penned for ‘Big Freen’


As a lorry driver for years Seamus travelled across the UK and Europe and made a host of friends many of whom attended his funeral at Sacred Heart Church in Cloughmills.

Indeed such was the respect he had that a convoy of lorries led by his own vehicle accompanied the cortege on the short journey for burial in the adjoining cemetery.

There was genuine sadness at the passing of a man who had a kindly heart and no enemies.

There was a feeling of loss at not having this larger than life figure about ever again

Every village and town has its characters. Cloughmills had Seamus McDonnell and the village is the poorer for his passing.

There would have been more nights of excess, more light-hearted chats and, most likely, still more friends to be made.

  • Seamus McDonnell – Cloughmills. June 11th 2019 suddenly at his home, 33, Princess Gardens, Seamus (Freen), R.I.P., much loved brother of Francis, Kathleen, John and Anne and a dear brother-in-law, uncle and great uncle. Burial has taken place in Sacred Heart Church cemetery, Cloughmills. Lovingly remembered. “Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on his Soul”.



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