Press, sport represented at Downey funeral


Fr Dermot Nestor recited Patrick Kavanagh’s poem In Memory of My Mother at Paddy Downey’s funeral Mass at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Dublin’s Churchtown yesterday.

He included the lines, “Among your earthiest words the angels stray . . . Free in the oriental streets of thought”, and recalled a tribute this week by Seán Moran, Paddy Downey’s successor as GAA Correspondent at The Irish Times. He wrote on Wednesday how his predecessor had “no need for further written memorials now that he finally stands dapper and distinguished, smiling enigmatically on the threshold between the worlds”.

Fr Nestor, parish priest in Churchtown, thanked God “for the gift of Paddy Downey’s life, a gift he shared with so many. Thanks too for his bravery in the face of sickness.”

He was “a man of faith . . . a man of great memory”, who “always wore a tie”.

Mr Downey died at his home in Churchtown last Monday. Before the Mass his grandsons Ian and Trevor laid a hurley and a sliotar at the altar.

Chief mourners were his wife Caitríona, daughter Margaret, sons Pádraig and John, and daughter-in-law Evelyn.

Among the attendance were GAA president Liam O’Neill, former Tipperary hurling manager Michael (Babs) Keating, former Dublin footballer Tony Hanahoe, Melbourne Olympics gold medallist Ronnie Delaney and documentary maker Seán Ó Mordha.

The Irish Times was represented by Editor Kevin O’Sullivan, Sports Editor Malachy Logan, as well as Seán Moran, Rugby Correspondent Gerry Thornley, Soccer Correspondent Emmet Malone and Athletics Correspondent Ian O’Riordan.

Also there were Martin Breheny of the Irish Independent, Brian Carthy of RTÉ, author Donal Keenan, journalists Vincent Browne, Mike Burns and James Morrisey, Bobby Gahan formerly of RTÉ, businessman Oliver Barry, publicans Declan and Breda Doyle and Charlie Chawke, Jim Eadie and Mary Maher of the NUJ, Mary Finnegan and Aideen Friel.

There, too, were former Irish Times colleagues including Ned Van Esbeck, Peter Byrne, Dermot Gilleece, Michael O’Farrell, Jim McArdle, Denis Coghlan, Paul Gillespie, Conor O’Clery, Michael O’Regan, Brendan Ó Cathaoir, Seán MacConnell, Joe Culley, Dermot Ashmore, Eddie Longworth, David Shanks, Alan Dalton, Mary Hunt, Pat Ruane and Séamus Conaty.