Obituary: Patrick Gray, 1926-2020
Paddy Gray of McSwiney Street, Dundalk, passed away peacefully on 14 April 2020, in the tender care of the staff in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. He was 93 years old.
Paddy was born in September 1926 in Fox's Lane (Kennedy's Row), Barrack Street to James and Margaret Gray. He was the last surviving member of his family. He was predeceased by John, Margaret, Jemmy, Annie, Christy and Teresa.
The family moved from Barrack Street to St. Alphonsus Villas in the 1930's and later to Cluan Enda. Paddy spoke very fondly of growing up in 'The Villas', as he called it, throughout the years.
He married Maura Doherty in 1951 and set up home in Fatima, which was a newly built estate with lots of young families and it had a thriving community spirit.
In 1959 Paddy was one of the founding members of Cumann Ógra Naomh Moninne Hurling Club. Under the guidance of an tAth. Pól Mac Seáin it created Poc Fada na hÉireann over the Cooley Mountains.
Paddy and Maura moved to McSwiney Street in the early 1960's and remained lifelong friends with their neighbours from Fatima.
Paddy was a very diligent, hardworking man throughout his life. He began work at the tender age of fourteen, like so many of his generation.
He worked in Rawson's Shoe Factory throughout the 40's, 50's and 60's, until its closure in 1967 due to a fire. Afterwards he worked at numerous jobs until he joined ECCO in the late 1960's and worked there until his retirement.
The family were comforted by the very kind sentiments expressed on Rip.ie by many of his former work colleagues from ECCO.
Paddy was a very independent, private man. After Maura's death in 2007, he lived alone with the support of his family. He enjoyed regular visits from his friends, in particular Willie and Maurice.
Watching TV played a huge part in his later life. Programmes such as 'The Two Ronnie's, 'Dad's Army' and in more recent times, 'The Chase' and 'Dickinson's Real Deal' gave him great pleasure.
While he was happiest in his own home town, he did travel to destinations such as Canada, France and after his retirement, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
He enjoyed the company of his wonderful neighbours and friends in McSwiney Street. On his final journey they lined the street and applauded, paying respect to their elderly neighbour, many visibly upset, as the funeral cortege stopped briefly outside Paddy's home. The family took great comfort from this dignified gesture.
Paddy was pre-deceased by his loving wife Maura and his infant daughter Clare.
He is survived by his sons, Eamonn, Pat and Kevin, daughters Marian, Fiona and Paula, daughters-in-law Dominique, Mary and Joan, sons-in-law Aidan, Kieran and Fergal. His beloved grand-children Cillian, Francois, Lorcan, Colin, Ian, Simon, Patrick, Paul, Barry, Sinead, Shane, Ryan, Michelle, Conall, Conor, Cian and Claire, their wives and partners. His adored great-grandchildren, Lily, Sive, Aaron, Tom, Lucy, Charlotte, Sophia, Saoirse, Ethan, Katie, Caoimhe, Fiadh, Rían, Clodagh and Liam, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and friends. He will be sadly missed by all.
His remains were brought to the Redemptorist Church on 15 April, for funeral mass, celebrated by Fr. Derek Ryan.
The readings were given by sons Eamonn and Pat and the Prayers of the Faithful by grand-son Conall. The Offertory gifts were brought to the altar by Paddy's daughter Paula and grand-daughter Claire. The beautiful music was provided by Sarah and Brendan McCourt.
Burial took place afterwards in St. Patrick's Cemetery.