Quiet champion of the Killeshandra community

RIP Pat Tiernan, a former chairperson of Killeshandra Community Council

The death of Pat Tiernan, former chairperson of Killeshandra Community Council earlier this month, removed from Killeshandra life one of the quiet champions of not only the local community but also the surrounding rural area, known for his outstanding community leadership over many years.

Born 86 years ago in Garadice, Co. Leitrim. Pat was a family man but he also found time to devote nearly all of his adult life to the betterment of the Killeshandra community.

It is hard to put into words the regret at losing a long standing friend and colleague who has touched so many of our lives over the years at one time or another.

Indicative of the times, Pat showed true leadership through periods of extreme difficulty when hundreds of local jobs were lost due to the closure of McCormack Milk Products and the Fletcher timber sawmills. Through true grit and determination a local committee of volunteer men and women was formed to try and get Killeshandra back on its feet again. This was the start of meetings to form the Killeshandra Community Council Limited Company back in 1984.

Pat Tiernan’s leadership of the Community Council through the nineties and over the millennium period progressed with the building of a social housing development scheme, together with a community resource centre with donations from local people and businesses. Grant assistance was achieved from Cavan County Council and the International Fund for Ireland during Pat Tiernan’s tenure as chairperson of Killeshandra Community Council, while the Community Resource Centre was officially opened in 1999 by William McCarton, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland.

While active with the Community Council, Pat was involved in the setting up of the community and rural social employment schemes; Instrumental in the creation of a Housing Association company with the initial building of six houses for elderly residents of the town, followed by a further seven retirement homes under various social and capital investment schemes. Land was also bought at the lake shore ‘Strand’ for development into tourism recreation and a walking trail. A community garden was also developed primarily for the use of exercise for elderly residents of the housing complex.

Pat Tiernan’s other interests were the formation of a local tourism group; Tops of the Towns competitions, and assisting with social services such as St Vincent De Paul.

Setting the standard of local commitment to helping the community to re-develop earned Pat the honour of ‘County Cavan Man of the Year ‘in 2004.

His deep commitment as a community leader and champion of several social enterprises was mirrored in the huge attendance at his funeral from St Brigid’s Church, Killeshandra and burial in the adjoining cemetery.

He is survived by his wife Marie, adult children and family members.

Pat Tiernan: born 1936, died November 13th 2022

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

W.B. Yeats