Pad Coughlan - A Gentleman Giant

Coughlan, Paddy

06 January 2011

The late Paddy Coughlan - a 'giant gentleman'

The death occurred on December 19 of Paddy Coughlan, Lisnasallagh, Fermoy at his residence after an illness bravely borne. The late Paddy, a member of the farming community was known over a very wide area.

He was deeply involved in GAA all his life and was a great family man. A native of Kilworth, he was educated at Mungret College, Limerick where he played rugby with Keith Wood's father, Gordon. Played football for Fermoy at minor level winning a North Cork championship in 1952. He played junior football with Michelson and hurling for his native club Kilworth. He was a member of the Kilworth novice hurling side that reached the North Cork final in 1954 where they lost out to Newtownshandrum. He continued to play hurling for Kilworth up to 1958. There was no football in Kilworth at the time and he played with the Mitchelstown junior side that enjoyed part of what became known later as the 'Golden Yeaps'.

The Golden years were from 1955 to 1966. However, Paddy's playing career came to a sudden end when he lost his right arm in a traffic accident on his way home from training in Mitchelstown on Sept 1st, 1958. Mitchelstown won six JAFC titles in a seven year period starting in 1955. Paddy Coughlan played for Avondhu in the mid 50's and figured in the 1957 county junior final defeat when Nemo Rangers beat Mitchelstown in Fermoy. He lined out at full back but the city side took the title by 1-5 to 0-5.

The accident occurred prior to the 1958 North Cork final and this ended his playing career. He was chairman of the Kilworth club in 1957, and acted as a selector with Kilworth junior hurling team from 1961 when they reached the county final up to 1983. Paddy was mentor when his club collected county junior hurling honours in 1967 and the previous year he was an Avondhu selector when the divisional hurlers won the county senior title.

He served as a Cork IHC selector from 1968 -70. He also served the North Cork GAA Board as GPC member from 1961 to 1971 and had been his club's delegate from 1956 to 1961. He was honoured by the North Cork GAA Board in 1982 with the hall of fame award.

The late Paddy was a deeply religious man and for 12 years up to his illness he did his weekly adoration hour at St Patrick's Church, Fermoy from 5.00am to 6.00am each Friday morning. He regularly visited Lourdes over the years.

In his own way he was a very generous and caring person and was described by friends as a 'giant gentleman'. He had a keen interest in coursing and would travel annually to the national coursing event in Clonmel. He attended hundreds of GAA matches over the years in the company of his friends Pat Shanahan a former Kilworth player.

Paddy's popularity was borne out in the very large and representative attendance at the family home and at the family home and at the removal on Tuesday evening, December 21st to St Patrick's Church, Fermoy and also at the requiem Mass and burial on Wednesday 22nd.

Traffic came to a halt in Fermoy in bitter cold and frosty conditions where the Blackwater was frozen as the funeral cortege left the church for burial at his final resting place in Kilcrumper New Cemetery.

Sincere thanks to the members of Kilworth and Fermoy GAA clubs along with neighbours, friends and the Gardai who organised the traffic as the huge crowds attended the family home as well as at the removal, Requiem Mass and burial. His funeral was described by many as the biggest in very many years and maybe even the biggest ever in Fermoy Members of the Kilworth GAA club along with fermoy and Grange coursing clubs had a guard of honour on both days.

His school friend Michael Dunne gave a lovely oration at the graveside. He was extremely well looked after by his family and by Hospital acre care during his illness.

To his wife Peg (nee Cussen) son Arthur, daughters Maria, Anne and Patricia, sister Catherine, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews, nieces, neighbours relatives and friends, we tender our sincere sympathy.

Courtesy of the Avondhu 6/1/11 

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