THE ‘Hills Above Drumquin’ was sung as the remains of well-known schoolteacher and community activist, Pat Scully, were carried from the Sacred Heart Church in Omagh following his Requiem Funeral Mass on Thursday.
In a poignant tribute, many people in Drumquin lined the route of the cortege through his home village and later as he was taken for burial at St Patrick’s Cemetery, Langfield. Due to restrictions imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus, the number of people who attended the funeral was limited to family and close friends.
Mr Scully’s son, Thomas, and his family watched the service via webcam from Maryland in the United States.
His daughter, Ann, joined the congregation with her family from London and his niece Clare in Louisiana.
Speaking at the ceremony, Fr Christopher McDermott, described Mr Scully as “one of life’s true characters.”
“As a young man, Pat attended the Christian Brothers school here in Omagh both at primary and secondary levels. He was always deeply appreciative of that education,” Fr McDermott said.
“The Legion of Mary provided Pat with an introduction to spirituality and community service, two pillars of his life. For a while, he even toyed with a vocation to the priesthood and at 16 entered the Noviate for the Society of African Missions.
“Deirdre and Pat wed in 1958 and raised their family in the shadows of Dooish Mountain. Pat loved the village and became well acquainted with Drumquin’s history and traditions.
“Pat was an avid storyteller and a lover of music who played the mandolin and sang songs by Percy French with great gusto. He took a keen interest in developing young minds, guided the Drumquin team to their one and only county minor final and was instrumental in building the handball alley and youth centre in the grounds of the old school.
“In fact Pat was deeply involved in the youth centre. From accessing grants here, there and everywhere to organising shows, including a memorable production entitled ‘The Sound of Drumquin’ and a competition for Mayor of Drumquin.
“His thirst for knowledge was insatiable, he pursued an Open University Degree in economics while teaching full-time and with six young children. In 2012, at the age of 85 he became the oldest student to obtain a degree in theology.”
Fr McDermott said the death of Mr Scully’s wife in 2000 had left a ‘painful scar,’ adding that it was now time to say goodbye to him also.
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