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In memory of Malachy McCartan

Funeral Leaflet Malachy McCartan Large Web view

In life each one of us can have an influence on the lives of other people, just as Christ had an influence on each of us. Because of Christ’s influence, we belong to Him whether alive or dead. Scripture reminds us that a time comes for our departure. In Malachy’s case he fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. We are reminded by St. Paul of Christ’s death and resurrection and his gaining salvation for each of us. He stands at God’s right hand and pleads our cause.

Our Gospel story is that beautifully consoling passage from St. John reminding us that there are many rooms in our father’s house. We are welcome; there is an open invitation to come follow him. We are reminded of Christ’s own words, “I have called you by name; you are mine”. He accepts us as we are, provided we acknowledge that ‘Christ is the way, the truth and the life’.

When a person lives there is a story to be told. In fact each of us has a unique story to tell - the story of his/her life. 

Malachy was born on 25th November 1950 in Kernan, the second of five children to Larry and Mary McCartan. He attended St. Colman’s Bann before progressing to St. Colman’s College in Newry. Malachy had various jobs in his career, the first being with Albion Belfast before Mayfair in Portadown, Saracen in Lurgan, Stark Brothers in Newry and Dublin Airport. After working in Dublin Airport for a couple of years, Malachy took his Master’s Degree in Business Studies and shortly after he set up his business K.C.S. Fire Safety. Malachy liked to share his talents far and wide!

In was while working in Saracens that he met Rose – Rose was 17 years old at the time. They married in St. Peter’s Lurgan on 6th October 1984. They set up home together in Kernan, the site of the original family home that Malachy was born in. They have two children, Louise and Peter. Malachy never liked to travel too far!!

He had many hobbies but football was his passion. He played Gaelic with Tullylish and Soccer with Laurencetown Swifts. As a soccer player, he was known as ‘Feet’, apparently because neither he, his team mates nor the opposition knew what he was going to do next! Malachy probably thought it was because he was so fast on his feet! He could become so engrossed in watching a match he would forget where he was – this being the case when he first met Rose’ parents! He jumped up after a goal was scored, hit the lampshade and brought it down around them!

He also had a great love of animals.

Anyone who was fortunate enough to know Malachy well knew what a wind-up merchant he was, especially if you were in company. He could tell a story and convince you it was true – until the punch line! You always left his company with a smile on your face. The stories that have been shared at his wake are too numerous to share with you. Suffice to say that Malachy left his mark on all who crossed his path. His humour was legendary, but when Malachy needed to be serious, he was.

After his father Larry’s sudden death in February 1997, Malachy took his place on Banbridge District Council and continued to serve the community for the next eight years with the same dedication and diligence that you would expect from him. It didn’t matter what the problem was, you could be sure that Malachy would do his best for you. He gained respect from all sides of the community, whether it was through council business or his own Fire and Safety business. If Malachy could do you a good turn, he would.     

He was a community man, through and through, but top of his list was his family – he wife, his children, his mother, his siblings and wider family circle – as his sister said, he was the glue that kept everyone together. A selfless man, Malachy never complained about himself. Obvious to everyone that he wasn’t well for the past while, he always said he was ‘ok’.

When he was admitted to Belfast City Hospital three weeks ago, no-one thought it would be his last journey. Over the past week, he knew he was dying but still kept up the smiles, the winks and the humour. On Saturday evening, as he struggled with life, he asked those around him to pray and as the Rosary was recited, he became very peaceful.

Just before he passed away on Sunday morning, his daughter Louise asked him if he was ok and he replied, with a smile, ‘I’ve been better’!

So we give thanks to God for his life and it is with confidence that we pray to the same God to give him eternal rest after all his suffering.

Today then we bid farewell to Malachy. Despite your sense of loss, you will face the future with courage and hope, knowing that that is what Malachy would want you to do. We comfort one another in the sure confidence that for Malachy life has changed, not ended. We also derive comfort from the conviction that he is at peace with God after all his suffering.

It is only to God we can turn at this time to try to find some meaning, some consolation; some hope in the situation we find ourselves in. Prayer will bring us through this time.

All of us gathered here today we just want to say how sorry we are for your great loss – to Malachy’s family, loving wife Rose daughter Louise, son Peter, mother Mary Rose, brothers Dominick, Laurence, Gabriel and sister Vivienne, and family circle. You are all in our prayers and we extend to you our deepest sympathy - May his soul rest in peace.     Amen.              




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