Paul Loughran: Footballer, builder, community worker and devoted family man
A sudden and tragic death shatters completely the lives of the bereaved family and leaves an anguish that remains long, long after the tears on a coffin have evaporated.
It often, too, shatters the life of a whole community and the tranquility of people who realise that their words of sympathy and their help can do little to ease the pain in broken hearts.
Such a death was that of Paul Loughran of Dernanaught, Galbally, Co Tyrone.
Husband of Maura (née Dynes) and father of Carol, Ethna, Paula, Gerard and Laurence, Paul was a quiet and likeable man who was well known far beyond the boundaries of his parish.
A talented footballer in his youth, he wore the Pearses colours with pride and helped his Galbally teammates out of many a tight spot.
His work as a builder earned him the reputation of being dependable, thorough and obliging, qualities which he put to good use in his position as clerk of works when the Galbally community centre was being built, and as the main contractor for the Torrent Credit Union in Donaghmore and when renovations were being carried out to the Church of St John the Baptist.
Footballers and tradesmen can be and always are replaced. But there cannot ever be a replacement for a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and brother.
Paul was a constant in the lives of his family, always there with help, advice and encouragement, given with gentleness and generosity.
For above all else he was a family man, the welfare and happiness of Maura and their children ever his main concern.
Today his family are left with just their memories, precious memories of happy family times together – holidays, weddings, christenings and Christmas, when Maura was in her element sharing affection on their grandchildren.
These memories will no doubt bring tears of sorrow and sighs of intense grief. May they also bring smiles of happiness and prayers of thanksgiving for the love and the life of a good man.
Paul died aged 78 on January 18 2019. A GAA man, builder and community worker, he did much to benefit to the cultural and social life of his people.
May God have mercy on you Paul and may the prayer of your martyred kinsman, Blessed Patrick O'Loughran, bring solace and healing to Maura and your children, to your extended family and the many others who are left lonely by your passing.