There was great sadness in Ballinalee and amongst family and friends recently as they mourned the death of the very popular Pat Columb.
A native of Drumberg, 88 year old Pat lived all his life in the parish where he was a hardworking farmer, a devoted husband and a staunch family man, and a very proud grandfather. He passed away peacefully at the General Hospital in Mullingar surrounded by family.
Pat was a quiet man but he was extremely proud of his local community. He knew the people and always went out of his way to be of assistance to neighbours and especially anybody in difficulty.
He loved his sport and especially the local Sean Connolly’s GAA club. He would take taken great pride in the large numbers who called to the family home to pay their final respects and also attended his funeral mass. This for a man who left a lasting impression on those who knew him and this was reflected in the wonderful sendoff from family, neighbours and friends.
Pat worked tirelessly all his life and never complained about life on the farm, regardless of the weather or economic conditions and challenges, he went about his work and thanked God for the health that enabled him to do it. Born in 1928, he knew an emerging Ireland and worked through some of the most difficult economic periods. Throughout it all he maintained a strong resolve to help family and neighbours and it was underpinned by his deeply held faith. He wasn’t a man who brandished his religion but he had great belief in prayer and the rosary in particular. Indeed his faith and the love of his family were a wonderful support to him in his final days.
Throughout the latter half of his life, his beloved wife, Jeanie (nee Lee) was always by his side. They were a lovely couple who crafted a wonderfully warm, hospitable and inviting home in Drumberg. The kettle was always on and nobody was ever a stranger too long when they called to Columbs. It was a great rambling house with farming, football and politics usually the subjects of choice.
Pat’s passing has left a great void in the family’s life but equally they can take much comfort from the wonderful values that were handed down from their late father. Sons, Seamus, Michael, Liam and Damien were all very close to their father and he in turn was especially proud of them all.
He also had great time for his daughters in-law, Catriona and Cathy, who were especially good to him. Both himself and Jeanie delighted in their two young grandchildren, Eimear and Conor.
Pat would have been especially proud to have seen them feature so prominently in his funeral mass. Conor and some friends were servers at the mass whilst Eimear helped her grandmother with the blessed gifts and also delivered a wonderful and moving tribute to their beloved grandfather.
Pat Columb was a man of the land. He knew many of the old customs and traditions and thankfully many of them he shared with family and friends. He had a great eye for nature and the changing of the seasons and was very much as one with the environment that surrounded him.
In latter years he eased himself into semi retirement but typically Pat was of a generation that never took to retirement and he always had one eye firmly on the farm. He was always keen for news of the latest calf or a progress report on the cut of silage.
A quiet man, he nonetheless had a word for all and his daily trip into the village for the paper and the other essentials for himself and Jeanie will sadly be no more.
Pat Columb, passed way peacefully on December 7 at the General Hospital Mullingar and his passing is deeply regretted by his loving wife Jeanie; sons Seamus, Michael, Liam and Damien; sister, Bridie (US); daughters-in-law Catriona and Cathy; grandchildren, Eimear and Conor; brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and a large circle of friends.
His remains reposed at the family home and were later brought to the Holy Trinity Church, Ballinalee for Funeral Mass with burial in St Emer's Cemetery.
A poem in tribute to the late Pat Columb:
His love of the outdoor life shone through in the summer.
Walking with his stick and wearing his straw hat.
He loved to hear about cows calving.
Always asking ‘has that cow calved yet?’
He enjoyed going to bingo with his neighbours.
And winning the odd few pound or a turkey at Christmas.
He enjoyed his trips to the village.
Buying the paper and having a social drink.
He had a great love for the GAA and went to all the matches.
On December 7, 2016, we lost a great person.
Our Grand-Dad Pat and he was a lovely man.
Good-bye Grand-Dad Pat,
You were a loving husband, a good father and a proud Grand-Dad.
May you rest in peace.
- Your Grand-Daughter