Sandymount, Newport, Co Mayo
The family, friends and neighbours of Peter McGee are grieving following his sudden death on Sunday morning August 14. A native of Newport, Peter came from a large family of which he was the second oldest. Peter grew up and raised his own family in Newport. Peter began is working life in Mayo County Council before going to work with the ESB for a number of years.
When computers began to filter into the ESB, Peter decided that it wasn’t for him and retired from service. His love of all country sports inspired him to set himself up as a gunsmith and dealer, also dealing in fishing tackle. An avid hunter and fisherman he was at his happiest on the Owenduff River in Ballycroy or stalking wild birds in the hills of Glenhest and maybe occasionally on a high stool enjoying a smooth pint of Guinness in the Bridge Inn. Peter was also one of Ireland’s greatest ever handballers, dominating the sport for over 18 years and during his career he won 17 All-Ireland medals, ten men’s singles medals and seven doubles, in particular specialising in the Hardball code. Amazingly his success ranged, from his maiden title in 1965 through to his last in 1983. Peter had, ten x Hardball Senior Singles, five x Hardball Senior Doubles, one x Softball Senior Doubles and one x 4-Wall Senior Doubles. Peter even had two World Titles under his belt and made it to the Guinness Book of Records for his ten Hardball wins. An all-round sportsman, who also excelled at racquetball, he was widely respected in sporting circles.
In 1979 Peter set up the famous McGee International Handball Tournament, a competition which ran for 38 years, bringing handballers and their families from far and wide to Newport for a weekend of sport, fun and celebrations.
On Tuesday August 16, Peter’s family and friends and the wider Newport and sporting community gathered in St Patrick’s Church in Newport, united in grief they bid a fond farewell to a true gentleman, whose quiet and unassuming nature endeared him to so many. In a fitting tribute a recording of Peter from his own CD singing ‘Red River Valley’, played as his coffin was carried from the church.
Peter is survived by his wife Maureen of 54 years, his loving sons Colum and Darragh, daughter-in law Fiona, grandsons Shane and Christopher and granddaughter Holly. His passing is also mourned by his brother Willie and sisters Mary, Teresa, Angela, Kathleen and Agnes. Our sympathies are also extended to his many relatives, friends and neighbours.
May his soul rest in peace.