Paddy McBride or Paddy ‘Fenny’ as he was better known was born in Kinnelargy, Downings on Boxing Day 1958, the first born to Denis and his wife Mary. He attended Meevagh National School and for his secondary education he was a boarder at Coláiste na Croise Naofa, Falcarragh.
He showed a very keen interest in sport from a young age, especially football and wherever Paddy went in those early days his football went with him and indeed he received enthusiastic encouragement from his parents. Of course this all bore fruit in later years as he became an outstanding footballer, skillful and intelligent in both codes, Gaelic and Soccer.
In his young days he had a spell with Motherwell but loneliness brought him back home again where he played at local level with Glenree, Cranford, Fern Utd and finally eight years with Fanad Utd, winning an Intermediate Cup with them in 1988.
Bhí an t-ádh ar CLG na nDúnaibh go raibh a dhílseacht agus a thiomántas acu ar feadh na mblianta. Bhain sé a chéad chraobh leo sa bhliain 1977, craobh Sóisir na Contae. Bhí sé, an lá sin, ar an fhear ab óige ar an fhoireann. Bhain sé an Chraobh Idirmheánach in ’81, ’87 agus ’93 agus Comórtas Náisiúnta Peile na Gaeltachta i ngrád na Sóisir ’81 agus ’82 agus an comórtas Sinsir in ’83. Bhain sé an gradam do ‘Laoch an Chomórtais’ in ’82. Bhí a chroí sna cluichí seo ar fad agus thiocfadh leat a bheith cinnte go bhfaighfeá sár-thaispeántas uaidh i gcónaí.
He was an excellent coach as well, he was coach with the Donegal U-16 team in 1991, this was the only Donegal team that won the Ted Webb Cup in its initial format. He was a coach with the Donegal Minor team that went to the All-Ireland semi-final in ’96 and was also coach with the U-21 team in ’90 and ’91.
After his playing days he turned to refereeing and continued at it for 14 years. He refereed the County Senior Final in 2005 and received the Referee of the Year Award in 2009. Up until his illness his job was assessing referees in the county.
Paddy was to be seen regularly on the roads around Downings and Carrigart training for his marathons – he ran 17 in all and there was one particular year in which he ran two in the one week. Running marathons, 26 miles on your own, displays a great physical and mental strength, courage and discipline and indeed Paddy displayed those exact same characteristics during his illness.
D’oibrigh Padaí go dícheallach, díograiseach don chumann ar feadh na mblianta – obair riaracháin, ag ullmhú páirceanna, ag ní geansaithe agus ba é a bhí i gceannas ar lotto an chumainn achan seachtain. Cha raibh rud ar bith róbheag ná rómhór dó agus rinne sé a chuid oibre i gcónaí go toilteanach.
In ainneoinn an méid a d’éirigh leis a bhaint amach agus a dhéanamh ina shaol ba dhuine séimh suaimhneach modhúil a bhí ann, fear a d’fhan sa chúlra i gcónaí. Ach san am chéanna bhíodh sé ag éileamh ó pheileadóirí agus ó bhaill an chumainn an díogras agus an dícheall a thaispeáin sé fhéin agus muna mbeadh sin ag teacht uafa char fhág sé iad in amhras ar bith faoin dóigh a mhothaigh sé faofa. Ach sin agus eile bhí féith an ghrinn ann agus ba é a bhí deisbhéalach, rud a d’fhág gur chuideachta den scoth a bhí ann.
Despite all those commitments and achievements Paddy was first and foremost a great family man and of course his wife Karen, his sons Paddy and Barry and his daughter Aisling were very supportive in everything he did.
Although the local community and CLG Na nDúnaibh in particular are deeply saddened by his passing, our thoughts and sympathy go foremost to his wife Karen, his sons Paddy and Barry, his daughter Aisling, his mother Mary and his siblings Mary and Denis.
Leaba i measc na nAingeal agus na Naomh go raibh aige.
- A Mac L