Tributes are continuing to be paid to the late John Dillon of Ballindrehid, Ballyhaunis who passed away on Wednesday.

A former Director at Midwest Radio, John was best known locally for running the very successful family travel business (John Dillon & Sons) in Ballyhaunis and was also a former Board and Trust member at Ireland West Airport, Knock.

Here is the statement from Ireland West Airport Knock, issued yesterday evening:

All at Ireland West Airport are saddened today to learn of the passing of former Board and Trust member, John Dillon.

John joined the Airport Board in the very early days back in 1985, serving with the late Monsignor Horan, and held the title of Airport secretary when it officially opened in 1986.

He also was a passenger on the very first scheduled flight into the Airport operated by Ryanair.

John was a respected and renowned businessman in his own right, operating the very successful family travel business in Ballyhaunis, John Dillon & Sons, originally established by his grandfather to accommodate the Irish who were emigrating and seeking tickets for the transatlantic boat which came into port in Galway.

He was passionate about travel and unwavering in his dedication to progress the Airport during his 24 year tenure.

John’s experience and expertise in the travel industry was key to developing the Airport’s charter business, which saw significant growth from 2002 onwards – the results of which are now enjoyed by the thousands of passengers who use the Airport today.

In recent years, John with his family continued to travel and use the Airport on many occasions and was clearly proud of what has been achieved over the decades since his endeavours in developing it from the 1980’s with Monsignor Horan.

He always had a smile, a laugh and word of advice for staff when passing through.

Paying tribute to John Dillon, Arthur French, Chairman, Ireland West Airport said:

“Today is a sad day for the Dillon family, his many friends, neighbours and the wider community as we learned of John’s unexpected passing.

“On behalf of the Airport we offer our sincere condolences and prayers to his wife Cait, daughters Sheila, Joanne and Barbara, son Tom and family at this time.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

(photo credit to Ireland West Airport Knock)

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