Doughmakeon, Louisburgh, Co Mayo
Patrick Joseph (Paddy Joe) McGreal died peacefully on April 12, 2021, in the care of the staff at St John’s Unit, Mayo University Hospital.
Paddy Joe was born March 17, 1941, in Doughmakeon, the fourth of nine children born to John and Nora McGreal. Hard times were made infinitely harder when John died tragically while working in a quarry in 1948. With little state support available, the family had to rely on the support of neighbours, friends and relatives to help persevere and overcome this. Paddy Joe went to school in Achony and later practiced carpentry in the local Tech. He worked on the family farm and played football in the O’Toole Cup. Like many of his generation he took the boat to England in his late teens and headed for Coventry where some of his siblings were already based. He worked in construction but found his true calling in the bar trade where among other establishments he worked as head barman in ‘The Gosford’, Coventry. Paddy Joe had a great sense of humour and one can see how with his film star looks and a pride in his appearance he fitted in seamlessly to the trade. As kids he loved to regale us with funny stories of long ago.
At the age of 21 Paddy Joe underwent emergency surgery for a brain injury and after nine months recuperation he returned to Ireland. He settled in Dublin and took up work in Mooneys. After another stint in Coventry he moved back to Doughmakeon. He worked in ‘The Talk of the Town’, Bangor Erris, the Travellers Friend Hotel, Castlebar, Old Head Hotel and Taylors Hotel, Killadoon. Paddy Joe eventually retired from the bar trade to help Tom with the increasing dairy herd and subsequently the move to sheep farming.
Paddy Joe enjoyed a game of 25, was a great dancer and had a love of old time Irish music. He was a keen follower of politics both local and further afield. In spite of a career in the bar trade he was a long standing member of the P.T.A.A.
A deeply religious man, he had a particular devotion to our Lady and was a regular visitor to Knock where he loved to attend midnight Mass on Christmas Eve with Tom and his sister Kathleen.
Despite being beset by ill health (including Parkinsons) in later life Paddy Joe always tried to make the best of his lot. As his world constricted around him, he took comfort in the fact he could rely to Tom and his family to take care of him. He will be greatly missed but we will always remember his infectious smile which he never lost.
Paddy Joe is predeceased by his father John, mother Nora (née O’Malley) and sister Agatha. He is survived by his brothers Tom (Doughmakeon) and John (Roonith), sisters Mary (Boston), Betty (Coventry), Kathleen (Thornhill), Ann and Pauline (Coventry), brothers-in-law, nephews, nieces, grand nephews, grand nieces, cousins, neighbours and friends.