Mr Patrick McConnell, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, formerly of Wigan, England, and native of Shraugh, Louisburgh, died peacefully on December 27, 2017, at Mayo University Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.
Paddy as he was popularly known, was aged 86 years and was the son of the late John and Margaret McConnell, and one of seventeen children. He is predeceased by his son Michael (St Albans), brothers Tommie, Michael, Johnny, Francis and Joe and sisters Mary Aspinall, Katie Fitzsimmons and Maggie Gill.
Educated at Tully School in Louisburgh, he left at the age of 14 to work for John Duffy the builder. After this Paddy worked on the roads for the council, using his horse and cart, and also spent a few years employed by Bord na Móna.
In 1955 Paddy emigrated to Wigan, Lancashire, England where he married Triona in St Mary’s Church, Wigan. Triona was the love of his life and his four children, Mary, Michael (RIP), Margaret and Tricia were his pride and joy. Paddy was a true family man, he was strong, honest and very hard working, providing for his family and was so proud and supportive of all they achieved.
He was employed by McAlpines and Wimpey, building motorways, houses, working in the ship yards, on Liverpool Docks and many other major projects for 40 years until he retired. He enjoyed meeting his former work colleagues and loved to talk about work, the old times and have the craic.
Paddy lived life to the full and he always remembered and spoke with great affection about his Irish roots and his two favourite places, Louisburgh and Wigan, where he had met the warmest and kindest of people.
Paddy enjoyed being with family and friends, playing cards, having the craic and he reveled in listening, singing and dancing to Irish music. At family gatherings, Paddy was renowned for the Siege of Ennis and waltzing Triona around the dance floor. He loved welcoming visitors into the house and they would not be allowed to leave without a cup of tea and something to eat. So many people have commented about his lovely smile and hearty laugh and that they enjoyed his funny stories, sharp wit and sense of humour and being in his company.
The birth of every grandchild and great-grandchild was a joy for Paddy who loved and cherished every minute spent with them. ‘Grandad’ and his beloved red car was always available as a taxi for his grandchildren and other family members.
After 50 years of marriage celebrated with a big family party in Wigan and a trip to Rome to see the Pope, Paddy and Triona were thrilled to retire back ‘home’ in 2006. This gave them the opportunity to stroll along the beaches of Carrowmore and Old Head, visit family and friends, relax in good company and take long walks and drives around Mayo.
In September last year, Paddy and Triona celebrated 62 years of marriage. They were totally devoted to each other and in the last few years Triona’s love, dedication and care for Paddy has been unsurpassed and praised by many.
He will be very sadly missed by his wife Triona (née Gavin), daughters Mary Orrell and her husband John (Wigan), Margaret Lynch (Westport) and Tricia and her partner Stephen Duffy (Wigan), grandchildren, Michelle, Joanne, Heather, James, Amanda, Martin, David, Michael, Craig and Patrick, great-grandchildren, Jenna, Charlie, Callum, Theo and Evelyn, daughter-in-law Patti, brothers Denis McConnell (England) and William McConnell (England), sisters, Chris McConnell (England), Bridie Higgins (Carlow) and Vera O’Shea (Dublin), nephews, nieces, brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, cousins, neighbours and a wide circle of family and friends whose lives he touched.
Following repose at the family home and Sweeney’s Funeral Home, Paddy’s requiem Mass took place on Sunday, December 31, 2017 at St Patrick’s Church, Louisburgh. Fr Long was celebrant, the readings, psalm and prayers of the faithful were read by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, symbols of Paddy’s life were brought to the Altar by Tony, Callum, John, Teresa and Mary and his coffin carried by his grandsons and other family members. His granddaughter Amanda paid tribute on behalf of the grandchildren and his great-grandson Charlie read a poem. A deserved eulogy was given by his daughter Tricia, who also paid tribute to him and how Paddy brought great joy, laughter and inspiration to his family and friends through his kindness, thoughtfulness and humble and generous nature. Beautiful memories will be treasured forever in our thoughts, prayers and hearts.
Paddy was laid to rest in Kilgeever Cemetery. Donations in his memory may be made to the Louisburgh Order of Malta or Western Alzheimers.
His passing will leave a huge void in the lives of his devoted wife Triona, his family and all those who knew and loved him.
Paddy is now in the care of God with his beloved son Michael and all predeceased family members, may his gentle and caring soul forever rest in peace.