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Paddy Devlin, Castlederg, Tyrone

Fógraí Bháis

Testament to the character of Paddy was how he resisted attempts from unionism and others to undermine early attempts to develop a community association in Castlederg in the mid 1980s .

IT was with great sadness and regret that the community of Castlederg and beyond learned of the death of lifelong republican and community activist Paddy Devlin.

Surrounded by his family and friends, Paddy (pictured) slipped away to his eternal rest after battling a long illness at his home in Hillview Park, Castlederg, on the evening of Thursday 7 May.

Paddy hailed from the townland of Attagh, Gortin, County Tyrone.

Like so many of his countrymen and women, Paddy sought work in England on the building sites and had then returned to his beloved Tyrone to make a home and rear his family of five boys and three girls in the town of Castlederg. Paddy had a great love for his community and he was pivotal to the formation of the now flourishing Churchtown Community Association in Castlederg.

Testament to the character of Paddy was how he resisted attempts from unionism and others to undermine early attempts to develop a community association in Castlederg in the mid 1980s . Undeterred, Churchtown Community Group was established and now goes from strength to strength because of the work of Paddy and others. Through the years Paddy had worked with many people as Chairperson of Churchtown Community Association and in fulfilling his role Paddy quietly also worked to improve community relations in Castlederg. 

Paddy was also deeply political and was a valued member of his local Harvey/McGlynn/Connolly/McHugh Sinn Féin Cumann and had worked tirelessly at elections for Sinn Féin from the early 1980s until recently when poor health no longer permitted him to do so. He was a very selfless person, putting the needs of others before his own; Paddy always had the best interests of others at heart.

His friend Pat Doherty MP gave the graveside oration at Paddy’s funeral and spoke of Paddy’s support of Tyrone Gaelic football and an unstinting devotion to his community, friends, and his family.

He also recalled how his recent election success had been tinged with great sadness for him personally on hearing that Paddy had passed away just moments before he was to be declared re-elected as MP for West Tyrone.

Paddy was laid to rest in St Patrick’s Church graveyard, Castlederg.

By Councillor Ruairí McHugh

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