Tonlegee, Ayle PO., Westport
The death took place of Philip McGing, Tonlegee, Ayle, Westport on July 4, 2017. In his 88th year, he had great health until 2015 when sadly he was diagnosed with cancer - a disease he bore with great courage and dignity right to the end.
Philip attended Knockrooskey National School and on completion of his education he worked for the Forestry and later for the ESB, known then at the Rural Electrification Scheme, where work was completed by hand without aid of machines.
Farming was Philip’s first love until he met and married Ellie Walsh of Brachlough in July 1958. He enjoyed looking after his sheep, his dog, and his Dexta Tractor! His tractor was his pride and joy and on one occasion when he was discharged from hospital, he returned home to completely refurbish his beloved Dexta tractor.
Philip also loved going to the fair, his last outing was on September 29, in Aughagower. This date clashed with a hospital appointment in Galway but ‘Fair Day’ came first.
Philip always made time to socialise in his local pub, Donnie McGing’s which later became Digger Jay’s. When it closed down it was off down to the Westport Country Lodge Hotel where Philip would take to the floor with Ellie for an ‘old time waltz’.
It could always be said that Philip was a great neighbour, always willing to lend a helping hand to others. Despite this he was an independent man so it was fitting that he died on Independence Day.
He was a man that would draw you to him and he was famous for storytelling. Many of his friends would tell you ‘those stories never had an ending’. What usually was a short journey for Phil to his land in Kinuary could be a three-hour journey home for him.
Finally, there were stories often told about Philip and it goes as follows: “When Philip worked with the ESB, one day he was ten minutes late for work. He was asked to explain his lateness to the boss (the ganger man as he was known as back in those times). Philip earnestly replied by saying ‘well I was speeding down Cailleach on my Honda when I came across an ass stretched across the road. I spent ten minutes wondering if I should go around him!’”.
No doubt when Philip arrived at the ‘golden gates’ in Heaven he told many a story to St Peter.
Philip is survived by his wife Ellie, daughter Julia Ann Carney (Teevenish, Aughagower) and son-in-law Tommie Carney; his son Joe (Tonlegee, Ayle) and partner Noreen; grandchild David and partner Karen; grandchildren Jonathan and Laura, great-grandchildren Adam and Patrick; his sister Breege (Manchester), extended family, neighbours and close friends.