GUARD OF HONOUR The funeral cortege of Paddy Muldoon pauses at his insurance office premises on Mill Street, Westport, as it made its onward journey to Aughagower graveyard for burial. Holding the flags at the head of the Guard of Honour were, Liam Moffatt, Mayo GAA Chairperson, and Charlie Lambert, Westport GAA Chaiperson. Pic: Conor McKeown
A proud son of county Mayo and a dedicated servant of An Cumann Lúthchleas Gael was laid to rest last Thursday as Paddy Muldoon was given his final send-off.
St Mary’s Church in Westport was at half-capacity due to Covid-19 regulations, but otherwise would certainly have been filled the rafters by friends, family, colleagues and many others whose lives had been enriched by Paddy’s presence.
The distinction and high regard which he commanded within the GAA was reflected by the attendance of distinguished mourners including GAA President Larry McCarthy, GAA Director-General Tom Ryan, Mayo GAA Chairman Liam Moffatt, Westport GAA club Chairman Charlie Lambert and Connacht Council representatives John Prenty and John Murphy.
Given his lifelong dedication to the association - which included an eight-year stint as Mayo GAA Chairman - it was little surprise that Mayo and Westport jerseys were among the symbols brought up to the altar.
Likewise, ‘the enormous pride’ felt by Paddy in formally turning the sod on Westport’s new GAA grounds only a few weeks previously was acknowledged more than once. A picture of the formal sod-turning ceremony fittingly sat among the symbols of his life, along with his famous ‘blue book’.
In a succinct but poignant eulogy, Paddy’s son John recalled him as ‘a kind, caring and loveable rogue, always up to no good, always up for the craic’.
Likewise, celebrant Fr Charlie McDonnell acknowledged his sense of humour and natural way with people, remarking that he ‘always had the last word’ where slagging was exchanged.
As his son John recalled, Paddy Muldoon’s great passions in life were football, farming, family and friends. In a tongue-in-cheek nod to his struggle with diabetes, John recalled a fifth ‘f’… ‘feckin’ eatin’ sweets!’.
“As well as being a loving husband, he was also a kind father, and we wanted for nothing growing up. We will greatly miss his words of wisdom and advice,” said John.
“For him every problem had a solution, and he was always our go-to man. However, what we will probably miss the most about him is the playful banter that we all shared.”
Shunned the limelight
For a man who was so well known, Paddy was remembered as one who shunned the limelight, preferring instead to graft away in the background and lend a hand wherever it was needed.
“We don’t truthfully believe that Dad would have been a man for fanfare, or who would’ve enjoyed a clap on the back,” John recalled. “Instead, I believe he would have wanted his friends to know how proud he was to be part of something bigger than himself.”
A proud son of Aughagower, farming was ‘a labour of love’ for Paddy. He also treasured the game of cards which he played with the same group of friends every Thursday night for decades.
He was also a man of great faith, and shortly before his illness had stood faithfully in the very same church where his funeral took place last Thursday.
“Dad, words cannot express how much we will miss you, as a husband, as a father and as a friend. Our world will never be the same again, but you will be forever in our hearts. We will be thinking of you especially on Saturday [at the All-Ireland Final]. We know you have gone up to take your seat early. We will miss you, and we love you. Rest in peace,” John concluded.
His sister Sr Carina, who was unable to travel to the ceremony, was acknowledged during the service. Paddy Muldoon will be sadly missed by Judy, his wife of 49 years, daughter Sinead, sons Edward and John, sisters Sr Carina (Mary) OBE, Teda Costello, brothers Edward and Tommy, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, and a wide circle of friends in the GAA and further afield.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.