Joss Lynam – a tribute

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Like many hundreds of other people around Ireland and abroad, I was saddened earlier this week to hear of the passing of Joss Lynam (1924-2011). I knew Joss first through orienteering back in the late 1970's, then through work at Tiglin Adventure Centre and finally in later years through his promotion of the waymarked walking routes etc. around Ireland. Joss was a great man for wearing 'many hats' and if you went to him with a query, he'd have to think about how to respond to it and from which point of view. Nonetheless he seemed to carry this balancing act off with great aplomb and a laugh if sometimes the end result was slightly contradictory. Some might say he had a bit of a reputation for being stubborn at times but I served on several committees with him and always found him fair & flexible, with the wisdom of many years dealing with bureaucracy.
Joss was also a great man for pushing things along in the background. I have no doubt that he assisted us in many different ways over the last 30 years or so – I recall an early job that Joss put my way back around 1992, a series of maps for the Aran Islands, to be hand drawn something in the style of JB Malone and at final A0 size. A case of brushing up on the calligraphy skills and getting stuck in – not sure I'd take it on now!
Joss stayed involved at a voluntary level in his many interests right through his later life – I last met him and Nora up on a rather bleak afternoon on Three Rock at Halloween. They had made the effort to come up for the launch of the new Dublin Mountains Way walking route, a concept which no doubt Joss kept an eye on for the great many years it's been in gestation. I'm not sure they make them like that anymore..