Paschal Harrington formerly of Boyle passed away after a short illness, aged 69, on Thursday May 9th in Cavan Hospital. Paschal was a retired Garda and lived in Drumharlry, Moyne, Co. Longford. He was the brother of Padraig Harrington Sacristan of St. Joseph’s Church, Boyle.
In his early days at St. Mary’s College, under Father Mattimoe, and in Boyle GAA club he was a good and active footballer. He was a member of the St. Mary’s College, Connacht winning teams of ’65 at Juvenile and ’66 at senior Division ‘C’ championships. The senior team captained by John Keenehan is pictured below. There is reference to his class being referred to as; ‘The twelve apostles’. Perhaps that was the number of pupils in that class. More notably he was a fine handballer. The family were in business in St. Patrick St. where his parents, Peter and Veronica, had a drapery and shoe business. Being adjacent to Boyle handball alley (Casey’s Alley of yore) Paschal was drawn to that sport like so many from that street like the Perrys, Gaughrans, Keaveneys, Clarkes and the Kennedys from south of the river and so on, in the 60s’. He brought this sporting skill with him when he enlisted in the Garda Siochana and trained in Templemore. The Garda Siochána, as an organisation, took great pride in its handball stalwarts down the decades and Boyle provided them with a number of greats including Paddy Perry, Paddy Reid, Jim and Pat Clarke. Paschal won a number of Garda Championships one of the trophies named after the great Mayo footballer, Garda Tom Langan. He also won Connacht Championships and represented Roscommon as an U 21 All-Ireland finalist. He travelled the country playing with his friend and neighbour Pat Clarke another great exponent of the game.
Prior to joining the Garda he had stints at sub-teaching in Boyle N.S., and with John Leonard accountant Elphin Street. (John from Gurteen passed away also last week).
On graduating from Templemore he was, like so many Garda, transferred to ‘Border Duty’ in Monaghan and Cavan and spent most of his career in Arva from which he retired from the force. During his work duty there he witnessed a bank robbery where shots were fired. So it was a dangerous time.
Paschal’s passing is deeply regretted by his wife Marie, daughter Edel, son Dean, sister Mary, brother Padraig. Also by his former St. Mary’s classmates and Boyle friends.