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Peter Gavin (Pete)


Penwortham Preston and late of Murrisk, Westport

Peter Gavin (Pete) Penwortham, Preston and late of Murrisk, Westport died on March 26th 2019. Pete was born in the early 40s, eldest child of Austin & Bridget Gavin.  In the village of Murrisk he lived, loved, laughed, and went quite happily to school, played football and grew to manhood.  The transition from primary school to CBS did not present academic problems for him, as he was quite studious.  Football was of major importance, he played for the Colleran and Flanegan cups, and sustained wonderful memories of that era.  Jobs were few for unskilled young men in Ireland, so consequently like a lot of others he emigrated.  England not only provided jobs but opportunities for further education and this was the road he decided to travel.  Pete went on to study at Durham University.
This was the beginning of a teaching career that spanned many happy years.  His love of children and teaching them was a source of deep joy and satisfaction as he tried to instil in them a love of books, learning and education.  Looking at photos of him among the children would convince anyone that for him this was much more than a job.  He later became Headmaster at St Mary Magdalene School in Preston.  He was a humble man, full of patience and kindness to which his work colleagues would attest. He believed that in working co operatively together one could achieve greater impact both in education and society in general, “ar scath cheile a mhaireann na daoine” (we live in each others shadow).
Over fifty years ago he met the love of his life Teresa Smith from Blackburn and together they raised three sons Michael, Sean & Paul.  He was a devoted family man and was in turn much loved by his family, especially his grandchildren, Osian and Aoife.  He retained a strong attachment to his birth place.  He returned home regularly with his family, and this tradition continues today through his sons.  He looked forward to copies of the Mayo News, its news and views and not least the trials and tribulations of the Mayo team in their bid for Sam.  Despite the anguish of Mayo’s continual failure to win this much coveted cup he nevertheless thoroughly enjoyed the weekends in Croke Park with his sons and their friends.  He loved reading, especially all the poetry of Seamus Heaney, gardening and walking. Their allotment which was their pride and joy, was a masterpiece of Petes ingenuity and creation for which they won local awards.

Mass was concelebrated in St Teresa Church Penwortham by Fr.Michel Barrett, Cannon Sean Grady Birmingham (a native of Murrisk and long time family friend) and Fr Roy Cooper.
He is survived by his wife Teresa, sons Michael, Sean and Paul, daughter in laws Becky and Kath Gavin, grandchildren, Osian & Aoife, sisters, Maureen Ryan, St Helens, Mena Gill, Murrisk and nieces and nephews.