MOURNERS gathered at St. Michael’s Church, Enniskillen last Thursday to pay their respects to well-known and much loved local businessman, Jim McGovern.
Mr. McGovern is best known as the former proprietor of the Bush Bar on East Bridge Street, where he acquired the name ‘Jim The Bush Man’ among his patrons.
The funeral cortege passed the property on Thursday before making its way to St. Michael’s.
Born in Glangevlin outside Blacklion in 1927, he was the third of five children to James and Francis McGovern.
At the age of 20 he left Ireland for America, taking a six-day journey by boat to reach New York.
He stayed in America for five years before returning to Dublin where he and his brothers, Larry and Vincent, bought a pub.
After 10 years, Vincent moved to Blacklion and bought the Bush Bar. Jim moved to Enniskillen where he bought the pub which is still to this day known as the Bush.
Jim and his wife Kathleen ran the pub very successfully until 1978 when he sold it and set up three bookies in the town.
He ran these for 15 years.
When his sons, James and John, moved to Belfast to study, he began buying and selling property in the city.
He was known for having a very unique relationship with all of his tenants, as his nephew, Seamus McGovern, explained: “Jim always took care of his tenants, he was an excellent landlord -- so much so that many of his former tenants were in attendance at his funeral last week. They were all very upset.
“Jim was a business man, but he was also a very caring man.”
According to Seamus, despite reaching the age of 91, Mr. McGovern was still buying and selling property just a few months before his passing.
“It was in his blood,” said his nephew, “He just loved the kick of buying and selling, it was a part of him.
“He will be remembered for being the businessman that he was as well as being a great family man and friend. He was an absolute gentleman,” he added.
Mr. McGovern is survived by his wife, Kathleen, sons, James and John and siblings, Josie Clancy and Mary Mc Dermot.
He is predeceased by his brothers, Vincent and Larry.