Very deeply regretted was the recent death of Columba McPaul, late of Maghery and Cois Locha Housing Estate, Gweedore Rd, Dungloe.
He was 67. Born on 11 June 1950, he was the youngest of three boys born to Hugh and Rose McPaul, Maghery. He attended Roshine N.S. and, after completing his primary education, he went to work on the family farm.
The king of Maghery
He later worked in construction. Like so many in his native area, he joined the ranks of the Maghery Band when he was a wee boy. He became the leader of the Youth Band, affectionately known as the wee band, when it was founded in 1959 and remained the leader for the length of time it lasted, until the mid sixties. He gradually rose through the ranks over time until he eventually became the leader of the Senior Band, enjoying good success in his time at the helm,leading the Band to 3-in-a-row success at the Mary from Dungloe Festival during the '70s.
When the Maghery Festival started and the Maghery King competition was introduced, Columba entered and was elected the King of Maghery. He was the last King of Maghery over 20 years ago, and was the undisputed King of Maghery for 26 years until the competition was revived during the Maghery Festival of the Summer of 2017.
Columba was a big Fianna Fail man all his life. He attended no less than 15 Fianna Fail Conventions since 1979, accompanying Pat the Cope Gallagher, T.D., Leas Cheann Comhairle, on each occasion. He was also one of the first to accompany Pat to the European Parliament in Brussels when he was first elected as an M.E.P.
Columba was a Maghery man through and through and remained in his home area of Maghery for most of his life until he moved into Dungloe and the Cois Locha Housing Estate on the Gweedore Rd in recent times.
He spent the final week of his life in Letterkenny University Hospital. During the wake many mourners called to pay their last respects to Columba and to sympathise with his sorrowing family and extended family.
His funeral Mass was celebrated in St Crona's Church by Fr Aodhan Cannon, P.P. Interment took place in St Crona's cemetery in Maghery. Pat the Cope Gallagher, T.D., Leas Cheann Comhairle, on behalf of the Fianna Fail Party, placed a wreath on Columba's grave.
Columba was predeceased by his parents, Hugh and Rose, and his brother, Charlie, who died on the very same date as Columba in 2009. He is survived by his brother, James, Maghery, sister-in-law, Brid, niece, Geraldine, nephews, Damien, Hugh and Mark, cousins, other relatives and in-laws and many friends and neighbours to whom the deepest, heartfelt sympathy of the whole community is extended. May his gentle soul rest in peace.