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Former Armagh footballer and hurler dies suddenly on holiday in Portugal

'We are finding it hard to believe we will never hear that fabulous Armagh voice calling 'are you right there now folks please' again'

Image courtesy of GoFundMe

A former Armagh man, who was a talented hurler and footballer, has died suddenly while on holiday in Portugal.

Patrick (Paddy) Devlin had been on a break with his wife when he passed away.

The hospitality worker, who had lived in Wicklow for many years, was known for his love of GAA as well as being a talented sportsman and musician.

In a post on Facebook, Pearse Óg Armagh GFC said the committee and members were “saddened” to learn of the death of their former senior playing member.

“He was a member of our first u21 Co Championship winning team in 1976. Paddy played many years for us, also winning a number of Co B Championships.

“Sympathy and condolences are extended to his sisters Eithne and Maura, brothers Dessie, John and Philip and to the entire Devlin family.”

In response, one person said: “Very sorry to hear this news…great footballer…super hurler for club and county…deepest sympathy to the Devlin Family and friends…may he Rest in Peace.”

Another wrote: “Shocked and saddened to read this. I played hurling with Paddy, most famously in the 1971 under 16 ‘C’ final in Croke Park, against the infamous Sligo ‘beardies’.”

His daughter Philemina also spoke of her grief of Facebook, according to the Irish Mirror.

She said: “I can not put into words how utterly heartbroken I am. My entire world has fallen apart.

“You were the most amazing father and a fantastic grandfather… I’m so proud I got to call you my dad. My favourite person in the entire universe. Until we meet again RIP I love you dad.”

Tulfarris Hotel Golf Resort in Co Wicklow took to Facebook to pay tribute to their colleague.

They have also set up a GoFundMe page, ‘Help Bring Paddy Home’.

They said: “Last Friday, Team Tulfarris got the devastating news that our friend and colleague Paddy had passed away suddenly while on holidays in Portugal with his wife.

“Paddy was our night manager and part of the furniture here in Tulfarris for over 20 years. We are finding it hard to believe we will never hear that fabulous Armagh voice calling ‘are you right there now folks please’ again.

“We are all truly heartbroken with the loss of our friend and our thoughts and prayers are with his family every day.

“We are kindly asking for any help to assist his family in bringing Paddy home. Such a devastating time for them made harder by being abroad.

“Paddy has given Tulfarris so much over the years it’s our time to now give back and help bring him home to Wicklow”.

Organiser Derek Bellini wrote on the page: “Paddy was someone who always brought fun and laughter to our workplace, but Paddy’s life encompassed much more than that and first and foremost, he was a family man.

“We, his colleagues and friends, have decided to set up this page to aid and assist the family during this long and challenging time in their efforts to get Paddy back home.”

The page can be reached by clicking on https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-bring-paddy-home?qid=daa4cfb77d00c81fb9c7c6412c5bfc43

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