Mr John Donnelly, the Irishman found murdered in west Turkey, on Friday morning last, will be well known to members of Thurles Musical Society and indeed some older members of Vincé Productions and Phoenix Productions, here in Thurles.
The lifeless body of Mr Donnelly, aged 64 and who was from Dublin, was found on the floor of his apartment in Bodrum on the southern coast of Bodrum Peninsula; port city of Muğla Province, in the south western Aegean Region of Turkey; latter a popular annual resort for thousands of Irish visitors.
Turkish police authorities have stated that Mr Donnelly died from a single stab wound to his back, indicating that a robbery appeared to have taken place at the apartment. Indeed Police have confirmed that Mr Donnelly’s apartment had been ransacked and a bloodied knife had been located by neighbours; found outside the building. Police also confirmed that CCTV footage showed visual evidence of two men having left the scene of Mr Donnelly’s apartment earlier that night, and that no Islamic, political or religious motive is suspected or indeed being considered, in relation to this horrendous homicide.
A former retired Irish Customs Service employee, Mr Donnelly was a well-known and much admired amateur Musical Director. In late 2010 he directed the cast, including three Tipperary performers, in the then ground breaking musical “Spring Awakening,” which was performed in Dublin’s Helix building and on the 50th anniversary of Waterford’s International Festival of Light Opera.
The Spring Awakening cast, under his Direction that year, walked off stage taking multiple awards; including; ‘Best Lighting’, ‘Best Costumes’, ‘Best Set’, ‘Special Adjudicators Award’, ‘Best Musical Direction’ and the much coveted ‘Best Overall Show Award’ for the 2010 Festival. The Adjudicator for that 2010 Waterford International Festival of Light Opera was Mr Tony Finnegan, also a popular Director of musical shows for Thurles Musical Society; himself a holder of many Comedy, Acting, Singing and Directing awards to his credit.
Our sincere sympathies are with his family and musical colleagues at this time.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.