A well-known businessman across Fermanagh has died from Covid-19. He is one of 52 victims to the virus in the Fermanagh and Omagh district.

There was great sadness across the district following the death of popular hotelier John James Sheerin last week. Mr. Sheerin had been at the helm of the Fort Lodge Hotel, Enniskillen for over 20 years.

Mr. Sheerin had been in good health for his 75 years, but a chest infection was later diagnosed as Covid-19. Mr Sheerin received his diagnosis of the virus on December 31, 2020 and was dead on January 2, 2021.

His brother Tommy conveyed a sense of shock following his brother’s death, he said: “We had never dreamed of it [Covid-19]. He had looked after himself, he wore his mask and everything but when he went to the doctors it was too late.”

Tommy paid tribute to his brother and said: “He was a good brother; he was the eldest in the family. We will miss him.”

Looking back on memories Tommy told this newspaper that he will cherish memories of heading to Croke Park with his older brother to cheer on Fermanagh.

He added: “He was a big GAA man and a big Fermanagh supporter.”

Tommy paid tribute to his brother and said: “He will be remembered for his goodness to people.”

He said: “He was a kind-hearted man; he was good to everyone.”

Mr Sheerin had retired from his business 15 years ago when he turned 60 to enjoy his retirement.

Before taking on the hotel business he had previously worked in Dublin as a lorry driver. He has been described by his family as “one of life’s characters".

Mr Sheerin had lived on the Tempo road for sometime and enjoyed getting out and about and talking to people when he was doing messages in Enniskillen

Mr Sheerin was a father to five, Kevin, Damian, Raymond, Grainne, and the late Sean who died in infancy. He was a brother to Tommy and Anna.

Mr Sheerin’s funeral departed from Belcoo travelling via Belcoo, Blacklion, his native Marlbank, Florencecourt before arriving at St. Patrick’s Church, Killesher for funeral Mass.

He was buried in the neighbouring ceremony. Funeral arrangements were conducted by Tom McNulty, McNulty Funeral Directors.