Mr Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Station Road, Castlebar, who has died following a short illness, was one of Castlebar’s best-known and most popular figures. He was a member of the much loved and respected Fitzpatrick family of Ballyglass right on the Mayo-Galway border which is part of the parish of Milltown. The family has for decades been synonymous with Garrymore and Mayo GAA.
Known to so many as ‘Jimmy Fitz’, he was a familiar figure on his bicycle each day in Castlebar town. In his mid-eighties he only relinquished his trusty two-wheeler a couple of years ago. It was said that, apart from Johnny Mee and a handful of others, no one got as many greetings while out and about in town. “How ya, Jimmy,” was the constant call from the sidewalks as people delighted in seeing one of Castlebar’s best loved adopted sons.
Jimmy spent many years as caretaker at Davitt College where he was held in the highest regard by teachers and generations of students. When he retired the teaching staff and students combined to present him with a farewell gift - a bicycle. He later continued to do some work for Mayo Vocational Education Committee.
His funeral at the weekend was one of the biggest seen in the county town, reflecting Jimmy’s popularity with people of all ages.
His son Martin, speaking at the end of the Mass, said Jimmy never had a major degree from a university but, when it came to the School of Simple Living, he was like a leading professor. He had the same time for everyone he met in life and treated everyone with the same regard and respect. It came from the heart and people warmed to him in a special way. He recalled his father’s love for Mayo football. Every year the wish was the same …’this could be our year to win Sam’.
His is mourned by his wife Mary (nee Derrig from Killawalla), son Martin, daughters Mary, Karen, Helen and Philomena, brothers Paddy, Michael, Martin and Billy, sisters May, Nellie, Winnie, Delia and Kathleen, daughter-in-law, Karen, sons-in-law Steve, Noel, Tom and Dave, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, other relatives, neighbours and friends. He was predeceased by his brother Tom (New York) in 2000.
Removal was from his residence yesterday (Monday) to the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar, where concelebrated Requiem Mass was offered for the repose of his soul. The chief celebrant was former Mayo footballer and friend, Fr JJ Cribbin, PP, Milltown. Burial took place afterwards in Killawalla Cemetery. There was a poignant moment as the coffin passed by the family home at Station Road. The red and green bunting of Mayo was on display while Seamus Quinn proudly held aloft a large red and green Mayo flag.
Jimmy Fitzpatrick ….faithful to the last. Donations in his memory may be made to Mayo/Roscommon Hospice, c/o Moran’s Funeral Directors, Castlebar.