Tributes to Patricia who never forgot her roots in Dunmanway

May 21st, 2023 9:15 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Tributes have been paid to the late Patricia Young O’Connor, who comes from a very well-known GAA family in Dunmanway.

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TRIBUTES  have been paid to the late Patricia Young O’Connor, a member of the well-known Young family from Dunmanway.

Speaking on behalf of the County Cork Association of New York, one of its past presidents, Mae O’Driscoll, formerly of Skibbereen said: ‘We are mourning the passing of our esteemed member.’

Patricia (95) was born and raised in Dunmanway, the eighth of 14 siblings born to John and Margaret (McSweeney) Young, a well-known GAA family.

Her brother, Dr Jim Young, had played with the Cork senior hurling team in the 1940s, while another brother, Eamonn, was a member of the Cork senior football team.

The County Cork Benevolent, Patriotic and Protective Association (BP&PA) said Patricia passed away peacefully at her home in Rockaway on March 21st, 2023.

Patricia had attended St Mary’s National School and Maria Immaculata Secondary School in Dunmanway. She continued her education at the American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts and Brooklyn College in New York.

Brought up in a fiercely competitive family, all the Youngs were very successful in their chosen fields of endeavour. Emphasis was placed on faith, culture, education and athletics. 

They all excelled in sports and were active participants in the GAA. Jack Young’s proudest boast was: ‘Seven sons, seven daughters and seven All-Ireland medals.’

Patricia joined the Cork Ladies Auxiliary in 1950.  She chaired many committees and held several offices, including president from 1960 to 1963. 

She served as a delegate to the United Irish Counties and to the St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. Patricia joined the County Cork BP&PA in 1983 after the Cork Ladies and Men’s Associations merged. 

She served as secretary of the first reunion banquet in Cork in 1984 and was recording secretary for 16 years. In 2005, the Association honoured her as a 50-year member and in 2007 she was honoured as Cork Woman of the Year. Further plaudits came on her 65th and 70th anniversaries.

Patricia was a proud member and a great ambassador for the Cork Association and never failed to promote the rebel county. 

In 1953, Patricia married Denis O’Connor and they became the proud parents of Liam, Myra and Brendan. Denis died in 1973, Myra in 2001 and Liam in 2021. The County Cork Association awards a High School scholarship each year in memory of Myra O’Connor. 

After Denis’ death, Patricia opened a bookstore in Sheepshead Bay in 1978. In 1984, she started a new career with the board of education at Beach Channel High School and retired in 1997. 

As well as being a proud Cork woman, Patricia was also a proud American citizen. She was a member of the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways and served as a State Committee Woman.

Mae said: ‘We are grateful for Patricia’s leadership and dedication to our association and the Irish American Community.

‘We extend our condolences to her son Brendan, daughters-in-law Mona and Bess, grandsons Michael and Denis and the large extended O’Connor and Young families. 

‘Patricia will be greatly missed by her many friends in the County Cork Association. We mourn her passing and honour her memory, and a life well lived.’

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