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Widow pays her tribute to hard working restaurateur

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The wife of Portadown restaurant owner John McNally, who passed away this week after a long battle with cancer, says he will be sorely missed.

John (50) was first diagnosed with cancer five years ago and fought a hard battle against it.

However, in the past two years the cancer had spread and John lost the fight on Wednesday this week.

His wife Lisa said John put his heart into everything he did and still found time to spend with her and their two daughters Emily and Sarah.

Lisa said: "John was very popular indeed. He was a hard worker and put his heart into everything he did.

"John had been involved in the restaurant business for the past 20 years, having previously been chief executive of the business centre in Armagh.

"He was a self-taught chef and ran the Stonebridge Brasserie, as well as Sally McNally's in Portadown. He even catered up at the North West 200 in the marquees for three or four years.

"However, it didn't matter how hard he worked, John always found time to spend with us as a family.

"He would simply be delighted that people wanted to pay tribute to him and his work.

"I first met John at Portadown College when we were 17. We both went on to Stirling University and studied biology degrees there.

"John used to ride horses in eventing and played rugby all those years ago. He was first diagnosed with cancer five years ago but it really took hold in the past two years.

"It is only really hitting me now what has happened. We will all miss John dearly," she said.

Councillor Jim Speers knew Mr McNally all his life.

"He was a tremendous lively character, full of life, full of beans," he said.

"His family are highly respected in the area and my sympathy and the sympathy of the community is extended to them."

John's funeral service takes place tomorrow in St Matthew's Parish Church, Richhill, at 2.30pm, followed by a private family interment.

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