One of Gaoth Dobhair’s most famous characters passed away peacefully at the weekend. Paddy Thaidhg McFadden, who can only be described as a legend died at his home in Middle Dore, Bunbeg early last Saturday morning.
Born on the 26th April, 1932 and was a son of the late Tadhg John Thaidhg McFadden, Dore and Kitty [née McGinley] who was originally from Droim na Tine, Falcarragh. Paddy was one of a family of five and he was the last surviving member of that family. His siblings were, Mary, Margaret, Bella and John who died in infancy.
Hackney and Bus Service
His father operated a hackney taxi and also a small grocery shop. In his teen years Paddy started to drive for his dad. In the 1940’s he started to provide a hackney taxi service for students attending St. Enda’s College in Galway. He later purchased mini-buses and saw the need for transport from Gaoth Dobhair to Dublin. He was the first to provide this service which operated a few times a week. At that time he also started a bus service from Gaoth Dobhair to Galway. For many the years Paddy Thaidhg provided excellent bus service. He catered for students attending Pobal Scoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Mass goers, bingo sessions, dramas, football and many other events. When Paddy retired in the 1980’s his sons took over the running of the business and they are still going strong.
Paddy had keen interest in football and supported CLG Ghaoth Dobhair his entire life. He was President of the club for years and he always supported the Gaoth Dobhair teams ranging from under age, women’s teams to the senior teams. His familiar presence at football matches will be sorely missed. At his funeral on Monday his coffin was draped in the CLG Ghaoth Dobhair flag. The three cups the team won last year were placed beside his coffin at the church. Club members and players provided a guard of honour as his remains were passing the football pitch at Magheragallon and they walked alongside the hearse on his final journey to the graveyard. In March of last he was honoured to present the awards at the annual CLG Ghaoth Dobhair presentation function.
Paddy was a great character, always in a good mood and he loved meeting people. He had many stories to tell and on occasions would add on to them to suit the occasion. He was a great conversationalist and was highly popular with both young and old alike. He was very heath conscious and took a daily walk. A favourite walk of his was Magheragallon and if you were fortunate to meet him along the route he would certainly brighten up your day. He was a man of strong and abiding faith and he will be sorely missed by his loving family and many friends. He was married to Mary [née Barr] who was originally from Magheraclogher, and she passed away on November 18, 1998.
His concelebrated Requiem Mass was celebrated in St. Mary’s Church, Derrybeg at 11am on Monday. The main celebrant was Fr. Brian Ó Fearraigh, C.C., and Séiplíneach Phobal Scoil Ghaoth Dobhair and concelebrants were: An Dr. Ró Oirmh. Pádraig Ó Baoighill, P.P., Gaoth Dobhair and Fr. Seán Ó Gallchóir, P.P., Gortahork. The soloist was Eileen Sweeney and she was accompanied on the organ by Hugh Hiudaí Beag Gallagher. Paddy’s grand daughter, Máire Nic Gairbheith played a fitting tune on the violin after communion. Eileen sang the poignant song, ‘Thíos Cois na Trá’ as the remains were leaving the church. His funeral took place afterwards to Magheragallon cemetery.
Predeceased by his wife, Mary, he is survived by his sons, Seán McFadden [Brinaleck], Paul [New York], Teague Charlie [Lower Dore], Patrick [Popey], [Dore] and Cronán [Dore], daughters, Celia Culligan [Dublin], Bella Ó Baoill [Knockastolar], Caroline Ferry, [Mín an Iolair] and Sophia McFadden [ Knockastolar], 25 grand-children, 21 great-grand-children and one great-great-grand child, in-laws, family circle and many friends.