Paddy McCarney obituary: Handsome, artistic and a gifted carpenter

Lives lost to Covid-19: Devoted husband and father was a man of many parts

Paddy McCarney: former Monaghan minor football captain had a lifelong passion for handball, hiking and music.

Paddy McCarney: former Monaghan minor football captain had a lifelong passion for handball, hiking and music.


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Paddy McCarney


Paddy McCarney’s children recall Sunday drives to their granny’s house in Achill to the soundtrack of their father’s favourite musicians – Dire Straits, Queen, Fleetwood Mac.

“We would all sing happily in the car,” says his son Eoin (29). “Two of his favourite things were music and driving to scenic places.”

Named due to his birth’s proximity to the national holiday – just 10 days short of St Patrick’s Day – in 1954, Paddy was only 66 when he died.

The son of Ita and Peter McCarney, he was one of six siblings who grew up in a large house, Corbiere, on the Analoe Road in Clones, Co Monaghan.

His early school days shaped his athletic abilities; a star footballer who would collect youth medals and county titles and, later, bring him to captain the Monaghan minors. Handball, though, was his big love and he won Best in Ulster medals in a sport he would continue playing until 2016.

He moved to Galway in 1977 for a clerical officer job in the Regional Hospital’s pharmacy department.

“It was his ambition to move to Dublin,” Eoin says. “However, in 1978 he met his future wife, a young bank official by the name of Marian; he soon changed his mind about Galway!” The couple would have three children: Miriam (32), Eoin and Niall (28).

Their father is remembered as handsome and artistic, “an incredibly talented carpenter” who loved carving anything from Native American figurines to scenic depictions of alpine chalets. He was passionate about hiking too – any excuse to climb the mountains of Co Mayo.

It was one of his artistic pursuits – making videos – that led him to set up a business recording families’ special occasions. 

“In his later years, the music was a source of comfort for him,” Eoin recalls. “When we visited him we played his favourite songs – he could listen for hours on his tablet until the battery ran out. He loved to sing along.”

Covid-19: Lives Lost