James McGonagle, a popular bar owner, Gaelic Park regular and longtime Riverdalian, died of natural causes on Nov. 26. He was 72.
Mr. McGonagle was born in Glencolmicille Village in Ireland’s County Donegal in 1940. He moved to the United States in 1964, where he worked at Kodak and then as a paper handler for The New York Times.
He lived in Riverdale for 20 years, where family and friends say he was a beloved neighbor and parishioner at St. Margaret of Cortona Parish.
Mr. McGonagle was a longtime fixture of Gaelic Park. He chaired the New York Donegal Gaelic Athletic Association Football Club and led the New York Donegal Association. He was honored as the person of the year at the 2012 New York Donegal Association banquet.
Mr. McGonagle took pride in his godson, Anthony Molloy, who served as the captain of the winning All-Ireland GAA football team in 1992.
He acquired a following while bartending at Jay’s Place. Mr. McGonagle owned Buckley’s bar in Brooklyn and Sam Maguire Bar in Riverdale. Family and friends said he loved to socialize and often spent evenings in the Riverdale Steak House or Kerryman’s Association Hall.
Mr. McGonagle was brought to his native Glencolmicille for burial on Sunday. His wake was held at Riverdale on the Hudson Funeral Home on Nov. 30.
Mr. McGonagle is survived by his nieces and nephews Connie, Frank, Lanty and Columba Molloy in New York and many nieces and nephews in Ireland and Scotland.