Tuesday 25 October 2016

Stab victim John 'a man who brought people together'

Director John Donnelly
Director John Donnelly

An award-winning Irish director who was stabbed to death in Turkey has been described as "an extraordinary man, who brought people together" by friends who have worked with him.

John Donnelly (64) from north Dublin was found dead by Turkish police in the city of Bodrum on Friday afternoon.

He had a stab wound in the back.

The body was found at his holiday apartment in the resort, where he had been staying for the past three weeks.

A theatre director, Mr Donnelly had just finished a production of Evita with the Wexford Light Opera - which finished on April 30 - and had jetted off to Turkey for a few weeks before returning to Ireland to get working on his next project.

Dublin actor Simon Delaney was among those who paid tribute to Mr Donnelly describing him as "one of a kind".

The director had been heavily involved with the Association of Irish Musical Societies and the association's president Colm Moules told the Herald that he will be sadly missed.

"He was a wonderful director and a wonderful man - any show he produced, you'd know instantly that it was a John Donnelly show," Mr Moules said.

"He usually went away after a show finished for a few weeks, totally chill out, and then he'd get prepared for whatever else he had coming up.

"He wasn't showing any sign of slowing up - he always had more petrol in the can, so to speak."

Dublin choreographer Thomas Creighton hailed the tragic victim as somebody who brought everybody together.


Mr Creighton worked with Mr Donnelly on two separate productions over the years.

"It's amazing the amount of people who came together and became friends through John," Mr Creighton said.

"He introduced people to different things and different people - I'm sure people have got married because of John.

"He was always known for pushing boundaries and bringing the standards up across the board."

Investigations are ongoing into Mr Donnelly's death.

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