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Westport publican passes away


RUGBY FAN The late Pat Dunning pictured outside his pub in Westport with the Women’s Rugby World Cup when it visited the town in 2017.  Pic: Conor McKeown

Áine Ryan

LONGTIME Westport publican, Pat Dunning, who bravely faced many health challenges throughout his life, passed away on Wednesday last, November 21. He, and his wife Mary, ran the iconic Dunning’s Bar, Restaurant and B&B on the Octagon, for many years until they sold the business, now called An File, earlier this year.    
A keen rugby fan, Pat was the youngest of four children of the late Paddy Dunning of The Quay and Eileen Dunning (nee Geraghty) of Kilsallagh, Westport. His grandfather, Martin Geraghty of Drummin bought the Octagon premises in 1906 and the business remained in family ownership until its sale earlier this year. After his marriage in 1983 to Ballaghaderreen native Mary Keegan-Mulligan, a Bank of Ireland employee at the time, they ran the pub together.
In late 2000, Pat had a heart transplant that gave him a new lease of life. Always expressing his gratitude to the donor, he became actively involved in promoting organ donation in Ireland.
In an in-depth interview in The Mayo News two years after that operation, he spoke of his relief after he woke up in the Mater Hospital: “I felt good because I was alive. I wanted to live again, instead of just survive. It was a difficult time, especially for Mary and my family. But three days later I was out of Intensive Care, out of bed and walking. I spent five weeks in hospital and two weeks in a nursing home.”       
Pat will be sadly missed by his loving wife Mary, sons Jonathan, Paul, Carl, Patrick and Edward, daughter Lisa, sister Geralyn, brother Cathal, grandson David, brothers-in-law Pat, Michael and Paddy, sisters-in-law Moira, Bridie and Nóirin, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and his many friends. He was pre-deceased by his brother, Martin.
 Reposing was at his home in Cloghans Hill, Ardmore, The Quay, on Sunday, with the Funeral Mass yesterday Monday at 12.30pm and burial afterwards at Aughavale Cemetery.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.