John Walkin, a Ballina man synonymous with the development of angling, tourism and commerce in the north-west, has passed away.

A former Mayo Person of the Year (2014), John, along with his wife, Colette, ran a fishing tackle shop in Ballina for decades.

Amongst his countless friends over the years was the late Republic of Ireland soccer manager, Jack Charlton.

John, who lived at Bohernasup, Ballina, passed away at Mayo University Hospital after a short illness.

He was in his eighties.

Over the years John’s commitment to tourism, business and angling in Ballina and the wider north Mayo area was truly impressive.

Over the decades, he was involved in the North West Regional Fisheries Board (now defunct)  the Central Fisheries Board, Ireland West Tourism, Connacht Council Sea Angling Association and Ballina Chamber of Commerce.

For a spell he chaired Ireland West Tourism and was twice selected as President of Ballina Chamber of Commerce.

As a youngster he was a highly successful cross country and track athlete.

Some years ago John, in a media interview,  said he regarded his greatest achievement was to persuade the Government to sign over control of the River Moy from the Central Fisheries Board to the locally based North Western Regional Fisheries Board.

A gifted and passionate speaker John featured regularly on both the national and local airwaves over the decades.

John is survived by Colette and their children, Cleona and John-Bosco.

His remains will be reposing at McGowan’s Funeral Home, Ballina tomorrow (Thursday) evening, June 6, from 5:30 pm to 7.30 pm.

Funeral will arrive to St Muredach’s Cathedral on Friday morning for Requiem Mass at 11 o'clock followed by burial in Leigue Cemetery.

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