Pat Brosnan

Thanks Pat

Last week we received the sad news that our long time friend and columnist, Pat Brosnan, had passed on to his eternal reward. His huge funeral at the weekend  was testimony to the esteem he was held in by all who knew him. Many tributes have been paid to his writings, voluntary work and commitment to his adopted parish and there is no doubt that he was an example to young and old,  both in his private and public life.

This newsletter was started back in June 1996 and in that September Pat wrote his first “Pat’s Corner”. Since then he has hardly missed a week except when extremely ill. He covered every topic from sport to politics to current affairs but always keeping us up to date on local issues. He was never afraid to articulate his opinions but never had the intention of upsetting or insulting anybody.  His comments made sense and echoed what the most of us were thinking. He also contributed many articles, photographs, songs and poems to Athea Parish Journal and was never late with his copy. His passing leaves a big void in both productions and we will sorely miss his contributions. We are proud to have been associated with him and privileged to be counted among his friends. When the history of Athea is recorded he will feature  as somebody who made a real difference and who, through his many voluntary efforts, made this parish a better place for all of us.  So farewell Pat, old friend, and thank you so much. Our sympathy to Seanie, Sheila, Breda and Tina, grandchildren, in-laws and extended family. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Last week also saw the passing of one of the most popular men in the parish, Brown Joe O’Connor. A great character, he had wit in abundance and was a regular card player over the years. Our sympathy to all his family and relations. May he rest in peace.

Sympathy too to the family of Vincent Barrett whose funeral takes place tomorrow, Wednesday. Vincent, a member of Comhaltas in Athea since its foundation in 1972, was one of the finest flute players in the country. He had a beautiful traditional style with lovely ornamentation. It is such a pity that he was unable to continue playing due to his long illness but those of us who are old enough and were privileged to hear him at his best will treasure the memories. May the light of heaven be his.

Sympathy is also extended to Noreen Barry, Cratloe and Josephine O’Connor, Gortnagross whose aunt Peg (McCarthy) Werkman, Holland and late of Pilgrim Hill, will be in Harnett’s Funeral Home, Abbeyfeale on Thursday 15th from 6 – 8pm. Funeral Mass in Duagh on Friday at 11am with burial afterwards in Knockanure cemetery. May she rest in peace.

This poem, composed by Pat, was recited by his son Seanie at his funeral Mass


By Pat Brosnan

Peaceful Athea of the fast flowing streams

Beautiful land of the exile’s dreams

Proud Athea of the ancient glories

Music, dances, songs and  stories

Lovely Athea of field and fen

Mountain passes and hazel glen

Gentle Athea of the summer mist

And Autumn meadows with sunlight kissed

Scenic Athea of the woodland dell

With echo’s of bird-song and chapel bell

Rugged Athea of the heath-clad bogs

Home of the hare and the croaking frogs

Storied Athea with each verdant vale

Historic churchyard and river Gale

Homely Athea is the place we love

Its people, homesteads and skies above.