NEWS of the sudden death of Pat Byrne, Johnstown, Ballyhaunis, was received with much sadness around the Ballyhaunis region last week.
Pat (79) had attended the cemetery Mass in Ballyhaunis the previous Sunday and was in fine form right to the end.
Pat was an employee of Austin Grogan’s in Ballyhaunis for some years and also spent a time working with Mayo Co Council.
He was closely associated with the Irish Ale depot in Ballyhaunis with whom he spent several years as a driver on their lorries. Ballyhaunis was the main distribution despot for the western region for many years and Irish Ale gave good employment to many people in those times.
Back in the 1970s when many young people hitched lifts here and there around the country, and especially coming out of towns and cities like Galway on a Friday evening, Pat was more than generous in giving lifts home to Ballyhaunis to people he recognised on the roadside.
This goodwill was reflective of his kind and compassionate nature. He was held in great regard by all who knew him and his good humour was always to the fore.
He was an ardent Mayo supporter and had a wide knowledge of GAA matters stretching back over the decades. He loved to talk football and he had a vast reservoir of stories and reminisces that he enjoyed sharing with his many friends.
Pat was a gentle soul and will be greatly missed by his devoted family and all who knew him so well.
Reposing was at his home on Wednesday with removal on Thursday morning to St Patrick’s Church, Ballyhaunis, for the Funeral Mass celebrated by Fr Stephen Farragher, PP. Burial took place afterwards in the local cemetery.
Pat is survived by his wife Sheila (a native of Newport) and their five daughters, Mary Frances, Breda, Karen, Sheila and Sinead, sons-in-law Paul (Dunmore), Dominic (Johnstown), Matt (Oranmore), Iain (Kildare) and John (Kilcolgan), 12 grandchildren, sister Nora Teresa Concannon (Ballymahon), neighbours, relatives and friends.