Thursday 22 March 2018

Staunch GAA man and Fianna Fail member


The death of County Limerick man Pat (Patsy) Shanahan at his residence at Cooleens, Charleville before Christmas, evoked widespread regret in his adopted town of Charleville and among the Irish fraternity in New York, particularly in the Syracuse area, where he resided for many years.

A native of Ballagh, Ashford in West Limerick, Pat was a son of the late Jim and Nellie Shanahan, who imbued in him an unwavering dedication to family, his religion and his love of the sport of hurling.

Following his early schooling he took up the trade of carpentry, serving his time in Dromcollogher. He excelled at his trade from an early age and he was in great demand from builders all through his working career in Ireland and in the New York area. An avid sportsman, hurling was the code he played and followed and he was a passionate supporter of Limerick teams throughout his life.

He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him, emigrating to America in the sixties and settled in the Syracuse area of New York.

As at home he quickly immersed himself in the G.A.A. circles in the city and he played with the New York Limerick hurling team on many occasions in Gaelic Park and was on the Limerick side that won the New York Championship in 1961.

While in Syracuse Pat met the great love of his life, Monica Geoghegan from Clarecastle, Co. Clare. After they married Pat and Monica moved to reside in New York and they reared a family of three daughters, Eileen, Anne-Marie, Patricia and one son, Jimmy.

The family returned to Ireland in 1970 and lived initially in Clarecastle before moving to Charleville in 1974.

He quickly joined Charleville's Sean Clarachs Juvenile G.A.A. Club, where he coached and mentored the young teams in the skills of the game.

He remained a staunch member of Charleville the club up to the time of his death.

Three of his family later returned to New York, where his son Jimmy joined the NYPD and daughters Eileen and Anne-Marie also married and settled down there.

The four pillars which underpinned Pat's life were his family, his church, his allegiance to Fianna Fail and to the G.A.A. and he was a life long member of both the latter bodies. This was reflected in the removal of his remains and at his funeral where his coffin was draped in the flag of Fianna Fail while members of both Charleville G.A.A. Club and Fianna Fail Cumann formed a guard of honour.

Both of which were referred to in the tribute paid to him by his son Jimmy at his funeral Mass, at which, the chief celebrant was his brother Fr. Tom Shanahan.

Of a quite and unassuming disposition, Pat was a lover of all things Irish and was a hugely popular individual, endearing himself to all with whom he came in contact. This was manifested in the congregation that attended the wake at his residence, at the Requiem Mass at Holy Cross Church Charleville and his subsequent funeral to St. Ita's Cemetery Kileedy in his beloved West Limerick, where, again the members of local G.A.A. Club formed a guard of honour and a lone piper accompanied his remains to the graveside.

Pat is survived by his widow Monica, son Jimmy, New York, daughters, Eillen and Anne- Marie, New York and Patricia, Cullen, Co. Cork and a large extended family in County Limerick, Clare, Charleville and New York, to whom sincere sympathy is extended on their sad loss.

Ar Dheis Lamh De to raibh a Anam.