There was shock and sadness across the boating community in Fermanagh this week following the tragic death of one of its most esteemed members.

The body of Jimmy Dundas (68) was found on Tuesday morning in Lower Lough Erne, near Lough Erne Yacht Club (LEYC).

Jimmy loved Lough Erne, and knew every inch of it like the back of his hand, with his love of the lough one of the common anecdotes that shone through in tributes to him.

He had lived in his beloved barge for 13 years, and was a familiar face to many.

READ MORE: Erne barge life floats Jimmy’s boat

Speaking about his life to this newspaper, his wife, Helen, said: "Jimmy came from Roscor, Belleek; the lough went round the back of his house, and he was always on the lough. He grew up on it.”

Throughout his career, Jimmy was involved in different trades, including as a car salesman. Helen said: “He worked for Toppings as a boy, where he learned his trade, and then he was a car salesman for Drew Baxter and Lochside Garages.”

Other interests including rallying. Helen continued: "Jimmy was a keen rally driver too, and he used to do the circuit of Ireland.”

In addition, Jimmy was known to many for his involvement with the annual Lady of the Lake festival.

Speaking of his character, Helen said: “He was a storyteller; he could tell some stories – sometimes you would doubt them, but then you’d find out the information was true, as absurd as it might sound!”

Speaking further of Jimmy's love for the lough, Helen said: "He knew every part of it – he knew the history of every island on it, and there was nothing about the lough he couldn’t have told you.”

Paying tribute to Jimmy and everything they did together, Helen said: “We were forever friends.”


Jimmy Dundas on his barge.

Jimmy Dundas on his barge.


Jimmy moored his barge at LEYC and was fondly remembered on Tuesday by club Commodore, Neil Ireland.

Paying tribute to Jimmy's reputation as an entertainer and storyteller, Mr. Ireland said: “He was a great man for telling stories and could really entertain people with them.”

Speaking of the circumstances of Jimmy’s death, Mr. Ireland said: “Jimmy died from a tragic accident, his body was found this morning [Tuesday] and everybody at the club was very shocked.

"Jimmy was so well-known – he was a real character, who had time to stop and talk to everybody, and was part of the history of the club.”

Due to his knowledge of marine engineering, Jimmy was also a useful set of hands around LEYC. Mr. Ireland said: “He was responsible for so many repairs, and dealing with emergencies.”

Reinforcing tributes highlighting Jimmy’s well-known love of Lough Erne, Mr. Dundas said: “The lough was his home; he loved the lough.”

Mr. Ireland continued: “Jimmy will leave a hole behind him – people are so used to seeing him, and he was part of the place. He was part of the furniture.

“It is a sad day for everybody. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

READ MORE: ‘He was a real character, part of the history of the club’ - tributes to Jimmy Dundas

Jimmy was predeceased by his previous partner, Mary McGrath, and is survived by his wife, Helen, and his son, Andrew, and his step-sons, Darren, Cormac, Conrad and Mark, and his four grandchildren.

Jimmy’s funeral service will take place at Lakelands Funeral Home and Crematorium, Cavan at 2pm on Saturday. He will be reposing at his wife’s home.