Mr. Patrick Galbraith

THE community in Downpatrick was shocked and saddened by the death of Mr. Paddy Galbraith on August 21 at the age of 63.

Known affectionately as Geordie, he passed away in Downe Hospital after a protracted illness.

After leaving school, Geordie worked as a bricklayer. His talent for sport saw him play football at a high level in both codes — Gaelic and Association.

He was proud to wear the red and black of his county in the early Seventies and played for Down in the 1975 Ulster Senior Championship final.

He was also one of the first names on the Downpatrick RGU team sheet and was renowned as a formidable defender. Opponents knew they had a hard job when they saw Geordie line out against them.

Being raised in the Rathkeltair area, it was almost inevitable that he would take up golf. This he did and he soon became a regular competitor at Downpatrick Golf Club, which he represented on many occasions.

He played off a handicap of seven at one time and proved every bit as competitive on the golf course as he did on the football field.

Perhaps Geordie’s major talent was his skill in making and maintaining friendships. An easy conversationalist with a ready wit, he was able to speak fluently on a wide range of subjects. That familiar gait was halted regularly on his danders around the town as everyone wanted to have a word.

One of the final photographs taken of Geordie shows him with his three grandchildren, Ellie, Charlie and Max. The smiles are a genuine sign of the children’s affection for this big man with a big heart.

Let us hope they remember him with that wide smile and recall their time together with warmth. The rest of us certainly will.

Geordie was predeceased by his father, George, mother Mary, and sisters Rosaleen and Ann. He is much missed by his daughters, Emma and Nicola, son Conor, sisters Cass and Marie, brother Neil, nephews Paddy and Damian Smith, and by a very wide circle of family and friends.