A DARK cloud hangs over the parish of Murroe-Boher following the passing of Pat Tobin over the weekend.
He was laid to rest on Wednesday following a long illness, bravely borne. Few fathers can say they have four sons who played hurling for their county – Kevin, Patrick, William and Sean – but Pat was not one to boast.
“He loved Margaret and the family – he lived for them, the GAA and driving his bus,” said Pat O’Connell, a great friend and neighbour.
Pat worked for Bus Eireann for decades and drove a number of routes. Popular with colleagues and passengers alike, Pat even received a safety award.
Pat was understandably proud of his sons and their success for club and county.
“He was a brilliant GAA man. I remember talking to him in Semple Stadium after Kevin, I think, was on the under-21 team. There was tears of joy running down his face. He managed the Murroe-Boher under 14s to both hurling and football county success. He was a selector on the u21 team as well,” said Mr O’Connell.
Born and raised in Rathbane, Pat played with Old Christians in his younger days.
“Seemingly if you came off the field after marking Pat Tobin you would know you were after having a tussle with somebody,” said Mr O’Connell. When Pat bought a site in Bohergar, Boher, he joined Murroe Boher GAA Club, where his offspring would later star.
Mr O’Connell had a great three hour chat with Pat in Milford Care Centre on Friday night. He then rang him on Saturday to tell him that his nephew, Brian O’Connell, had picked up the ride on Lord Windermere in the Grand National. Pat said he would put a few pound on him. “I’m thrilled that I was talking to him on Saturday. He was pure salt of the earth and so are all the family. He was the first one I would go to if I needed help and vice-versa. He was a pure gentleman. I miss him,” said Mr O’Connell. As does everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Pat Donnelly worked with Pat for close on 30 years in Bus Eireann.
“He was a great character, had a great wit and had a lovely way about him. From talking to the fellows who worked with him there is a lot of sadness around, he will be missed terribly. He would have been on all the routes and was very popular with passengers,” said Mr Donnelly. However, it was well-known that there was one route that Pat didn’t like and that was the road to Dublin. Mr Donnelly remembers the slagging fondly.
To show the respect he was held in - Bus Eireann and Murroe-Boher GAA Club gave guards of honour.
Fr Tom Ryan called Pat “an absolute gentleman”.
“He was a straight-forward, honest, principled man. He was a good Christian man who had his priorities right - he was a wonderful family man,” said Fr Ryan. May he rest in peace.