People throughout Enniscorthy were saddened recently to learn of the passing of one of the town's most well known people.
Patrick (Paddy) McKeown, from Moran Park, passed away on Saturday, July 18, and his passing saddened not just his family and relatives but the wider community in Enniscorthy.
Born in upper Ross Road on June 1, 1941, he was a son of John (Jack) McKeown and Elizabeth Courtney.
Paddy was their first born, followed by three daughters, Margaret, Nellie, Elizabeth and another son, Charlie.
They were good parents and provided well for their young family.
Paddy found work as an apprentice butcher and he joined the FCA and served under men like Paddy Doyle, Harry Ringwood, Davy Murphy and Ml 'Doc' Doyle.
He also had the distinction of serving three terms with the UN peace keeping forces in the Congo, in Africa, as a member of 34th Btn.'A' Coy. and in Sinai Desert, in Egypt. While on attaché to 2nd motor squadron part of his duty was to provide escort to visiting VIPs, including President Kennedy, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, and other famous and important guests of President Eamonn De Valera and his wife Sinead.
Paddy was a great boxer for the army and won many matches resulting in him accumulating many trophies which were brought home to his mother for safe keeping.
Paddy met his wife, Elizabeth, at a dance and they fell in love and married on December 26, 1963.
They had five children, daughters, Teresa, Sandra, Sharon, and Deirdre, and son, Mark.
They were good parents and provided well for their family who went on to provide them with eight grandchildren - one of whom followed in his army footsteps.
The grandchildren have fond memories of their 'Da' and being brought to Donohoe's after going on one of their many walks for lemonade and crisps and being told to tell their Nana they were in the church!
One family member commented: '[It was] a family joke as my father had no religion and only believed in himself; his famous saying was 'if I can't do it, it can't be done'.'
Paddy was well known for his work with Slaney Search and Rescue, one of the old timers from the beginning, when rescuers and the goodwill of the town's people were all that was required.
They worked tirelessly when their service's were required to find a families' loved ones. Each person gave selflessly of their time and commitment.
Paddy also loved fishing and made his own flies.
'On occasion he would sell you one but only if he really liked you,' said a family member.
'He spent many days and nights fishing in our beautiful Slaney and surrounding streams,' she added.
Paddy loved a pint or three, and was a well known character renowned for his jokes. He also loved his cigarettes but when the smoking ban came in his social life came to an end.
A beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend his passing has left a huge void in the lives of those closest to him.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, children, Teresa, Sandra, Sharon, Mark and Deirdre, siblings, Charlie, Elizabeth, Nellie and Margaret, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, extended family, relatives and friends.