Friday, January 15, 2010


The death occurred in the Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle, on January 2, 2010, of Pat Hevenor, of Mount Pleasant, Kildimo and formerly of Ballydoole, Pallaskenry.

Following recent years when he was affected by health problems and with frequent trips to the local hospital, his last visit was of short duration during which he displayed his usual sense of humour to the end. His final passing was in the consoling presence of his wife Joan and daughters Joan and Kathleen and son Pat along with extended family members.

As pointed out by Fr. John Donworth, P.P. during his funeral Mass, Pat had not moved far from the native place in which he was born and raised and where he in turn raised his own family. He was born to Pat and Catherine (nee Ward) in Ballydoole in 1930 and his brother Michael and sister Nora Downes predeceased him. He was proud of his Palatine heritage and he displayed this in a little booklet he produced that traced this history from the early settlement of German refugees on the Bury estate, right down to his own children, grandchildren and great-granddaughter.

His early education was at Pallaskenry National School, much of it under the care of Master Meade, a journey he made on foot in all weathers. He would often recall the impression made on him by noticing less fortunate children than himself, who arrived often shoeless and had to endure their school day in often wet clothing and without much sustenance. This experience imbued the late Pat with a strong sense of justice, which was exemplified by his interest in the less fortunate and in the promotion of many worthy causes. On leaving school he didn’t have far to look for work and he soon got involved in the running of the home farm. He must have gained much delight from his daily journey to the local creamery and the conviviality such trips afforded. During this time he put some work into home studies that enabled him to be employed in the Land Commission as Ganger and later as Supervisor. This work brought him into contact with many over all parts of County Limerick and County Clare. His clear memory of this important and often divisive role in land division was often the subject of Pat’s recollections. He stayed in this post until retirement which also coincided with the transfer of the Land Commission to another Government department in 1983.

The large crowds that paid homage to Pat while waked in his home and at his funeral, were an indication of his many interests. He was instrumental with others in many new initiatives and the setting up of many clubs. Following some involvement in local hurling, he soon transferred interest to soccer. While this game was played locally from the fifties, it was in 1955 that a formal club was established. The first game in which they were involved was against Askeaton on Sunday, March 6, 1955, where Askeaton slipped through two goals to their one. At their first Inaugural Committee meeting, Pat was chosen as Chairman. An extant photograph of the 1955 team shows Pat along with his brother Mick. Fr. Martin Loftus, S.D.B., who was a co-concelebrant at the funeral mass, was later to be involved in the club in widening their horizons with trips to Anfield. Pat’s involvement with the Local Defence Force (LDF), began in the tranquil setting of Dromore Lake while fishing for pike and rudd with Stephen Fitzgerald, who lived near the lake. He joined up under the influence of Stephen and no doubt was trained in warfare using the wooden replica guns supplied by McMahon’s timber yard, as was the practice at the time. The LDF was later to become the FCA and this presently continues as an auxiliary branch of the regular army with training and skills on a par with the parent force. His interest in fishing led him to set up with others the present ‘Bleach Lough Anglers’ of which he later became an honorary member. An effort to set up such a club in 1923 never realised its goal and it wasn’t until 1981 when Pat and others got the club off to the successful venture it is today. Many of these founding members are now reminiscing with Pat about the mythical ones that got away as they enjoy eternal pleasure. Pat’s hunting instincts were also catered for by his involvement in the Pallas Gun Club that he helped to found. When outdoor pursuits were not possible Pat liked to be involved in indoor games like Bingo and he was very pleased to be invited to call the numbers in Askeaton Community Centre for games there. The favourite game of his latter years was undoubtedly Cards and as well as organising Sunday night games in Pallas, he travelled widely in support of other centres. He even took the precaution of taking a card with him on his final journey, just in case St. Peter hadn’t made provisions! The late Pat was well prepared also to meet the keeper of the heavenly gates, judging by his involvement in many community and charitable affairs. When the local Credit Union was set up, he was one of the faithful volunteers to be ever at hand to ensure its smooth running. Muintir na Tíre was also another enduing interest of his as well as the local Pallas Community Council and the Senior Citizen’s Association. A highlight of his community interest was his editing of ‘Pallaskenry A Look Back’, which was produced in 2001 to mark the Millennium. As well as this literary landmark, he was also Chairman of the Council on the erection of the Millennium Stone at the entrance of the village, a work executed by local and famed sculptor, Tom Fitzgerald of Kilmacat. Every aspect of life in his native Pallaskenry was reflected in the late Pat’s interest and involvement where possible.

How Pat ever found time to find his life partner and set up home with her in the midst of all his activities and interests, must reflect the support of Joan whom he met in 1950. It had to be a culture shock for this lady from Caherdavin who was to find herself in Ballydoole where their married life began in 1953, following their wedding in The Holy Rosary Church, Ennis Road. Their daughter Kathleen was born in the original Palatine holding on what was the former Bury estate of Shannongrove. Following the acquisition of their own house in Mount Pleasant, they left his native Ballydoole. The arrival of ‘young’ Joan and Pat completed the family circle. The extension of this circle with the arrival of his grandchildren and great granddaughter Kayleigh was a source of very evident delight to Pat.

Pat’s very full life was pursued in his adopted small townland of Mount Pleasant of a select four houses. The Holy Well dedicated to St. Brigid in the adjacent townland of Cartown was an interest of his in which he took a practical role of maintenance. On his eastern bounds in the townland of Mellon, he was caretaker of the ancient burial place of Ardcanny, a role he inherited from his late uncle Mick Ward, who along with his mother was a native of these parts. His acre plot in Mt. Pleasant was intensely cultivated by him up to very recent times for organic produce for the family table and from which he also produced a yearly market for Christmas trees. In their early married life, Pat would join with other neighbours in supplementing the family fare with duck hunted in winter time along the Shannon and perhaps the odd rabbit or hare.

Pat’s health had been failing him for the last five years, occasioning many visits to hospital. This fact was not allowed to interfere with his card games and when hardly home from hospital, he would often set off to enjoy the fun of these events. His final trip to hospital culminated in his peaceful death on January 2. Following his wishes his body was waked at home, where in spite of the unseasonal and frosty weather, a constant stream of mourners filed past his coffin in his honour and to the consolation of his grieving wife and family. His final journey of many took place from the church of St. Mary’s, Pallaskenry on January 4, to the adjoining Killuragh graveyard where his ancestors and many of their Palatine brethren rest in peace. Representatives of the many clubs he was involved in provided a guard of honour on the occasion. It was fitting that he who had accompanied many such funerals with his lifelong friend and local undertaker, had the same Mícheal Downey to conduct this his final journey. His card-playing friends met at Pallaskenry Community Centre for their usual game on January 10 in his honour, and the final charitable act of the late Patrick was the donation of the funds thus generated towards the alleviation of other heart victims.

Ní imithe uainn ach imithe rómhainn

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