31 August 2006 Edition
Passing of a staunch Cavan republicanThe death occurred on 12 August, following a period of illness, of lifelong republican Patsy Lee, a native son of Lislea, Crosskeys, County Cavan.
Although he was in his 69th year, Patsy, despite his failing health, maintained a keen interest in the affairs of his local parish, county and country to the last.
A gifted traditional fiddle player, Patsy was at the centre of traditional music events throughout County Cavan and beyond. At Irish dancing feiseanna and county fleadhanna, Patsy loved to accompany young dancers and singers in their performances.
Of a most gentle disposition and with a big heart, he exuded his inner happiness when immersed in the music, song and dance of his people and of his country.
A life-long republican, Patsy, a single man, was sentenced to five years' imprisonment for his activities. He was released from Portlaoise Prison under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement after serving only a short period of his sentence.
A contract digger driver, Patsy had spent a period of his working life in England.
A humble, thoughtful man, Patsy Lee was highly regarded within his own community and county and, unknown to many of these, was also highly regarded within republican circles throughout Ireland.
His Tricolour-draped coffin was escorted from his home on the Sunday evening by a republican guard of honour as the cortege made its way to Crosskeys Parish Chapel. On the following morning, after Requiem Mass, his coffin was carried shoulder-high along the short route to the adjoining cemetery.
Among the large body of mourners were Sinn Féin Dáil Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, a friend of the deceased and who delivered the graveside oration; Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris; Cavan County Councillor Pauline McCauley; and South Down Councillor Frank McDowell, whose wife is also a native of Crosskeys Parish in County Cavan.
The sympathy of the Republican Movement is extended to Patsy's brother, Matty, and his family and to the wider Lee, Keogan and Clerkin families on their enormous loss.
I measc Laochra na nGael go raibh a anam dílis.