Northern Ireland news

Tributes to shop owner Linus Grant, 'heart' of his Atticall community

Linus Grant with his wife Rosemary
Mairead Holland

THE funeral took place yesterday of a Co Down man described as being at the "heart" of his village.

Linus Grant, from Atticall near Kilkeel, died on Friday aged 87.

Mr Grant established the village's only shop, Grant's Stores, more than 60 years ago and it is still run by the family.

It housed the local post office for 40 years.

A stalwart of his parish and GAA club, two years ago Mr Grant received the Atticall GAC Hall of Fame Award.

In his younger days, he played drums for the village's flute band and was one of the first extraordinary ministers in the church, distributing Holy Communion.

Mourners at St Colman's in Massforth, where requiem Mass took place, heard him described as being "very much" at the centre of life in Atticall.

In a tribute on its Facebook page, Atticall GAC said Grant's Stores had been its main sponsor for many years, a tradition continued by Mr Grant's son Patrick.

"Linus was the main stockist for the club’s Gaelic gear back in the early days, long before O’Neill’s and E O'Hare & Sons," the tribute read.

"In the '60s he was the main stockist for the famous all leather Blackthorn boot and later the rubber sole Terry Venables boots and in those days you got the boots, played the games and paid Linus later; which was never a problem!"

Mr Grant was also a keen supporter of Down GAA in the sixties as well as being a member of the Atticall tug-of-war team along with his brothers John, Pat and Malachy - a team that was "rarely defeated".

"Linus was a man of great faith and loved to see the new chapel being built in Atticall which he attended up until recently. He enjoyed music and was a past member of Atticall choir along with other family members at the time," the tribute added.

In 2016 Grants Stores marked 60 years in business and a celebration was held in the clubrooms for family, friends and customers, where Mr Grant and his wife Rosemary cut the cake to mark the anniversary.

Mr Grant is survived by Rosemary, sons Patrick, Michael, Paul and Ciaran, daughter Marie, sister Mary, and family circle.

His son Paul is vice-chairman of Atticall GAC and his grandaughter Èabha plays for the club.

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