Andy Brogan, front row, extreme right, pictured with colleagues from the fire service on the occasion of his and their retirements from the Fire Service.
There was deep sadness in Donegal town and further afield last weekend as news emerged of the passing of Andy Brogan one of Donegal’s most popular citizens.
Aged 90, Andy Brogan of The Mullins in Donegal town was a popular figure with both young and old having been involved in many civic roles for most of his life.
A Donegal man to the core, Andy spent most of his life working at the old Great Northern Railways garage adjacent to the old railway station in Donegal town where he ensured that every vehicle that either left the depot or the station was in prime condition and spotless. Not a 9 to 5 man Andy would often stroll down from his home in the late evening to ensure that everything was fine, such was his dedication.
The late Andy Brogan
He was also dedicated to the fire service in Donegal having spent 44 years of his life in the service.
A colleague, John Morrow said, “Andy was the longest serving fire officer in the country, something that he was very proud of. These were the times when the old siren used to go off calling all the firemen to the station which was then at the back of the Abbey Hotel. “Despite the old fashioned ways of communication we could still be at the station within five minutes.
“We have some great memories - Andy was a stalwart in Fianna Fáil as was the late Peter Kennedy and the friendly banter and different political views always provided a great topic of conversation.There was never a dull moment in that engine. Andy never really left the fire service - he kept in touch with us all and never missed any of the social gatherings up to recent years.”
With the old FCA barracks just across the road from his own home at the Mullins, Andy was also a dedicated member of the force and such was the esteem that he was held in by both organisations, guards of honour from both the FCA and the Fire Service were present at his funeral mass in St. Mary’s Killymard on Sunday.
A former Peace Commissioner, Andy is also fondly remembered by dancers from all over the North West as “the man in charge” at the old Pavesi ballroom.
Armed with his torch he was in charge of the car parking. This was at the height of the showband era when the popular dance hall would have been packed tight but despite the crowds, Andy knew them all and had a word for everybody and he could always arrange that strategic location for the old Ford Anglia.
Andy was a Donegal man first and worked with the community throughout the town for the overall good. One of his proudest moments in recent years was being present at the official opening of the new Credit Union building in the town.
In recent years Andy’s wife Jeannie took ill and required hospitalisation in Killybegs.
At his funeral mass in Killymard, Fr. Francis McLoone, PP, St. Mary’s Killymard, spoke fondly of Andy and his dedication to his community but above all to his wife, Jeannie.
“There was never a day that he didn’t lift the ‘phone and talk to her - it was just a matter of letting Jeanie know that he was always at her side. He always referred to that ‘empty chair at the table’. They were always at one with each other.”
Andy was of a generation that is sadly passing on, a generation that formed the social fabric of Donegal town. He will be sadly missed by the many people of those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Andy is survived by his wife Jeannie, son Liam and daughters Rosemary, Kay and Marion and a large extended family.
His funeral mass took place in St. Mary’s Church in Killymard with burial afterwards in the Old Abbey Cemetery in Donegal Town on Sunday afternoon.
* If you wish to add to this story, perhaps your own memories of Andy, we would love to hear from you, just send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org We will be reporting on his death in our Thursday edition and will add any further tributes received. You can also add a comment via our facebook page.
** Our group photo caption in full is as follows: Andy Brogan, front row, extreme right, pictured with colleagues from the fire service on the occasion of his and their retirements from the Fire Service (circa 1993). Pictured are, front, l-r, John Gallagher, Anthony McBrearty, Andy Brogan (now all deceased); Back row, l-r, John Morrow, Joe McGoldrick RIP, Emmet Stagg, the then Minister for State Dept. of the Environment, Peter Kennedy RIP, Robbie Ellis. Photo Paddy Meehan.