Paddy McCormack RIP
A dark cloud of sadness enveloped Bunbrosna on Thursday evening last as news began to filter through of the passing of Paddy Mc Cormack to his eternal reward. Paddy was a lifelong club stalwart, who was known and respected not only in our club but throughout the county and indeed all over the country. Paddy was always on hand to help out when needed, to advise when sound advice was called for and to encourage and motivate when encouragement and motivation were what was required.
To say Paddy was a hugely influential figure in our club would be an understatement. Not only was he involved with underage teams down through the years, he was also a selector on the victorious Intermediate winning team of 2010. Paddy gave a lifetime of service to Bun GAA.
Aidan Finnan speaking on behalf of all our players past and present who were lucky enough to have had the opportunity of having Paddy as mentor and advocate, had this to say. “Paddy has been a hugely positive influence on those who have worn the blue and white. From his famous commentary in the 1995 U12 Final to the quiet and personal words of encouragement and touch of humour in good times and bad, Paddy always wanted the best for each player, always encouraging the young and upcoming players to enjoy the game. He worked as selector for a number of managers and was part of the 2010 championship winning set-up, his honest feedback always taken on board! Aidan concluded by reflecting that “It’s strange to think that Paddy will no longer be down to watch training week in week out, he will be sorely missed”.
Paddy was also a hugely respected figure within Westmeath Underage Football where again he was part of successful teams. He was a selector under Luke Dempsey with the All Ireland Minor Winning Team in 1995 and again with the U21 All Ireland Winning team in 1999. Luke recalled to me earlier that he had first met Paddy at the beginning of the 1995 season and that he quickly realised how talented a mentor he was. Luke described Paddy as an absolute gentleman steeped in the Gaelic tradition, his passion for Westmeath GAA only surpassed by his devotion to his club Bunbrosna. His witty sharp sense of humour made him an ideal selector who Luke always found to be fair and unbiased in his opinion. Luke recalled that he and Paddy had a great friendship which reached long beyond football and concluded that he was deeply saddened when he heard of Paddy’s passing.
Speaking of Paddy’s influence in the club Eddie Newman recalled how Paddy began his involvement with UnderAge and progressed seamlessly to the Adult club where he enjoyed respect and admiration from everybody involved whether player, coach or club official. Eddie recalled how it was Paddy who first encouraged him to become involved in club administration and how supportive he had always been of all club initiatives.
In later years, Paddy was actively involved in the development work carried out at the club. He also took it on himself to keep the grounds in great order and no job was too big or small for Paddy to take on. Peter Maguire, our Club Chairman, remembers Paddy always being ready to oblige and help out at the shortest of notice when something had to be done. His abiding memory will be of the nights of the Lotto draw when Paddy, Anthony and Jimmy would sit down together and discuss matters of importance as they checked through the Lotto tickets, always hoping that someone would be lucky enough to have all four numbers. Peter in conclusion said that Paddy will be sorely missed around Bunbrosna.
We will all miss Paddy in Bunbrosna, his cheery ways and ready smile but our loss pales into insignificance when compared to that of Phil, Cormac, Conor, Colm and their extended families. We offer them our deepest sympathy and hoped that shared happy memories of Paddy and his days in the club that he loved so much will console and sustain them in the difficult days ahead. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. Ní bheidh a leithéad ann arís.