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The late Pat Mulhern, of Ballinafad and Co Carlow

The late Pat Mulhern, of Ballinafad and Co Carlow

The late Pat Mulhern, of Ballinafad and Co Carlow

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The communities of Ballinafad, and Bennekerry, Carlow are mourning the death of Pat (Paddy) Mulhern, 80.

A native of Ballinafad, Pat was an Inspector with the Department of Agriculture, spending his entire working career in Carlow, where later lived.

Pat's life was beautifully captured by his sons, Mark and Peter, at his funeral mass in St Mary's Church, Bennekerry, Carlow.

Peter spoke of the goodwill from people during Pat's respiratory illness and people calling to the Mulhern house when Pat was in form and able to talk.

He emphasised that Pat always remained a loyal West of Ireland man, preferring to play things by ear, never to become over-excited - outside of watching sport - and to keep life as simple as possible.

Pat had a kind word for everyone and in recent times had informed Peter he got his mind off things when trying to go to sleep by picking Ireland rugby and soccer teams.

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But if it was a bad night he imagined picking the Sligo GAA county team, rarely getting past the half back line before falling asleep.

A laugh was also raised by the full congregation at the comment that Pat was unfortunate with his birth county in relation to national GAA success but not nearly as unfortunate as his adopted Carlow.

Peter continued: "What a childhood we got with wild Sligo as our playground on numerous family holidays - hunting, fishing, swimming and general fun on and around the shores of Lough Arrow, where Pat spent his childhood.

Deep down he was a private man who didn't wish to share his ailing health with people outside of his immediate family.

"His only wish was to see out whatever time he had at home 'without people poking at him.' This was made possible for the last year by his daughter, Ada, who ensured Pat had what he wished for by staying at home, for which he was eternally grateful.

Pat had been bereaved by the death of his wife, the former Eilish O'Donnell, a native of Mullinahone, Co Tipperary some 28 years ago, which was an enormous blow to him and to the Mulhern family in general.

Pat was the last surviving brother of a family of five, being survived by his sister, Maureen. He was predeceased by his brothers Ben, Tommy and Auty (all Ballinafad)

Significant life symbols brought to the altar during his funeral mass were: a family photograph; a pair of binoculars; a hunting hat; and a Sligo GAA jersey. The symbols were brought forward by grandsons Sama Mulhern and Bobby Mulhern, goddaughger Cróna Glynn and niece Yvonne Mulhern.

Sama (9) was Pat's first grandchild and they developed an especially close and loving bond over the years. Shortly before Pat's passing Sama was able to tell his grandad how much he loved him and that he was the best grandad in the whole world.

The beautiful singing of hymns at mass, commented on by people from far and wide for its quality, was by the talented Glynn familly - Fiona, Aoife, Diarmuid, Bríain and Cróna, as well as Fiona's husband, Jesse.

The musicians also made the journey to Sligo to sing at the prayer service in Ballinafad Church.

Pat was laid to rest with his beloved Eilish in Aughanagh cemetery, Ballinafad, on the shores of Lough Arrow.

He is mourned by his children Mark, Ada, Peter (Peadar) and Sineád.

Both Mark and Sineád live in New Zealand, with both making multiple trips to Ireland in 2015 to spend as much time as possible with their dad, including Sineád moving her husband and two young children back to Burton Hall for four months last summer.

Pat is also survived by his sister, Maureen O'Boyle, grandchildren Sama, Joey, Isobel, Alice, Bobby, Molly, Isla and Shae, by nephews, nieces and extended family, good neighbours and many friends.

The Month's Mind Mass for Pat Mulhern was celebrated on January 24 in the Church of the Holy Family, Askea, Carlow.

As stated in his death notice Pat is "loved and sorely missed by a wide circle of relatives and close friends."


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