Pat Gonnelly was a kind-hearted, easy-going character who took life in his stride

Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter

Pat Gonnelly was a kind-hearted, easy-going character who took life in his stride

The late Pat Gonnelly

1957 -2016

The death after a short illness of Pat Gonnelly, Rathmore Cottages was the fourth bereavement within his family in the past two years and was devastating for them. But consoling  for the  family  was the  ready acceptance  with  which Pat  faced his Maker  and  looked  forward to  re-uniting with his  wife Eilish  who passed  away in  2008.

Ironically it was when Pat was just returning to something like his normal self after the   loss of Eilish that   he became unwell. This was after his return  from  his  favourite  annual  trip  with  his  golfing  buddies in  the TJ  society to Rosapenna in April.

He felt it necessary to seek medical help, never having been really ill in his life. Doubtless what  he learned  was  not  what   he  expected or his  family,  but   accepted it  with a  gracious  and inspiring  resignation. His one  request was to  spend  his   last  days at home  which his  loving family were  so  glad to accommodate, and  were with him   when he passed  away  peacefully on  October  24.

Pat  was  a kind hearted,  easy   going  character who  took  life in  his  stride,   and loved  a  bit of  craic. He was happy among  family  and  friends,  singing  and playing the  guitar which he learned  himself  to  play  and  was  an  accomplished  singer.

He was well known as a sign writer of renown, for whom life started out in Mary Street North in town. He was the second youngest of nine children of the late Patrick and Catherine Gonnelly. He was predeceased by his   brothers, Tom and Martin and also by sister, Margaret Kelly. Margaret along with Martin and brother-in-law, Tom Murphy   all died within that   short period prior to Pat’s demise.

Pat as he   grew up attended the Christian Brothers primary school and the secondary college. He  started  working  at  a  young  age as a  barman in the  then  Tara lounge  bar in Park  Street  when it was owned by his sister Noeleen  and brother in-law Tom Murphy.

His working   career  was a  wide  and varied one, which  involved spells  of  employment  with  the Spring  factory on  the Ardee Road before  going to work with his  father-in-law Johnny Woods  and  learned  his  trade  as a  sign  writer.

He also worked in O’Hare’s Mill and Louth Commercials, while he was employed as a part-time barman in Carrickdale Hotel, Avenue Inn and Readypenny Inn.

This  was prior to  returning to  sign writing   and he  started up  his own  business  which he  continued  for the   remainder of his  life, helped  by   his  two sons, Martin  and David.

He  carried  out   work  for the ESB  but  was skilled in  making  any  signs,  and especially  adept  at  gilding and  golf leaf  signs.

Eilish Woods who was his   wife of 29 years, hailed from Pearse Park. When the couple married they set-up   home in Laurel Grove, Greenacres, and they   had three children, daughter, Karen and sons, Martin and David. The couple moved   home to Rathmore Cottages in 2000.

Golf was one of the pastimes Pat loved and played it with his brother-in-law Pat, son David and friend Michael all round Ireland. He was  a member of  the Greenore club where he   gave up his  membership in  recent   times, but   continued  to  travel with the TJ society to Rosapenna  for their  annual  week long  outing  after  Easter . He   started going with the group in 1997 and enjoyed   the golf, social inter-action and camaraderie that it entailed.

He also briefly played indoor bowls in the local Kilkerley club after the death of his   beloved wife.

Life will never be the same for Pat’s family without him, but they are glad for him that he is   rejoining   wife Ailish.

His  absence is  deeply  regretted by sons, Martin  and David,  daughter, Karen, brothers, Dermot, Newtownbalregan and Anthony, Shelagh,  sisters, Noeleen, Little Mills, Briege, Boyle O’Reilly Terrace, Dundalk and Marian, Dromiskin, along  with   his  brothers-in-law and  sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces,  extended  family, neighbours and  friends.

After reposing at his home from the Tuesday, Pat was taken to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kilkerley on the Thursday. Father Gerry Campbell PP celebrated a beautiful Mass and delivered a moving eulogy.

Gifts  symbolising  Pat’s  life, including  a picture of his  late  wife and  of their  wedding  day, his  guitar,  paint  brush and  small  tin of  paint,  and a golf trophy  were  presented  at the altar by Noeleen, Briege, Marian  and Geraldine.

The Readings were given by his niece and nephew, Fiona and Cormac, while   nephews and nieces, Francis, Olivia, Selene, Bernadette, Martina and Gavin                                      led the Prayers of the Faithful.

The Offertory Gifts were taken up by  brothers, Dermot and Anthony.      

Brother-in-law Jim Kelly provided a reflection after Holy Communion.

The lovely music was provided by organist and singer, Olivia Finnegan and Roisin Crawley along with Mickey Clarke.

Burial took place in Saint Patrick’s cemetery, Dowdallshill.