The late Patsy McGowan
There is great sadness in Killybegs this week with news of the death of one of its best known residents, Patsy McGowan.
His death occurred after a long illness. Patsy was at the centre of so much activity in the fishing town over a long number of years.
He spent most of his working life in the Boatyard, beginning in the 1950s when he cycled every day from his home in St Johns Point while serving his time. In over 30 years of service in the Boatyard, Patsy made many friends and was described as a skilled Shipwright.
After setting up home in Killybegs, Patsy was a very active community worker. He was to the fore in many organisations including the GAA and was the current President of the club taking over from the late Frankie Daniels.
He was a playing member of teams in Dunkineely, Killybegs and Kilcar and very much to the fore of the Killybegs club when it was re-organised in 1963. He was captain of a winning St Connell's Cup team the following year.
His involvement continued with pitch developments at Fintra and he was chairman for a long number of years in the 1980s. He was extremely proud to be chairman when the club won the Ulster Minor Club title for the frist time on New Year's Day 1985 and was on the pitch in Dr Hyde Park when Donegal won the All-Ireland U-21 title in 1987 with his nephew Barry McGowan among a number of Killybegs players on the winning teams. And he was on the pitch in Croke Park to celebrate Donegal's All-Ireland win in 1992. He was also chairman when Killybegs began their great run of Donegal senior club championship wins in 1988.
He was very active with the St Catherine's Accordion Band being a talented musician. He played bass drum in the band and was also a well-known fiddle player. Apart from playing in the band, Patsy was the chief organiser of the band's activities.
One of his other many interests was tug-o'-war and he was heavily involved with the Hollybush Tug-o'- War team when the sport was popular. He was also heavily involved in the rowing club in the town.
Illness deprived him of being involved in his many actitivies in recent years but he was very pleased to be able to join with former colleagues at the Boatyard reunion last year. He was also an avid reader of the local papers especially all the reports of matches.
The youngest of a family of six, Patsy's funeral will take place in Killybegs this morning after 11 am Mass in St Mary's Church, Killybegs.
Patsy is survived by his wife Maeve (nee Cannon), sons Kevin, Martin, Stephen and daughters Caitriona and Carol Anne, grandchildren Maeve and Killian as well as many in-laws, relatives and friends.