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Funeral of Pat Dowling, Prosperous

Leinster Leader 19 March 1983

‘Hard cases’ sobbed uncontrollably; singer Christy Moore was shattered, everywhere there was emotion last week when they buried Pat Dowling, the man who changed the face of Prosperous.
His pub, which became a musical mecca of Leinster and indeed drew patrons from all over Europe, was quiet as the church across the road was unable to hold the multitudes who came to pay their respects. Many were still there as the huge funeral cortege stretched for miles through the narrow country roads to the cemetery at Allen.
“Only God and himself knew all he gave,” said local curate Fr. Pat Dunny who voiced the views of all on Pat’s remarkable generosity not only to his family but to everyone who whom he came in contact. Quiet and unassuming, he never spoke of what motivated him to give without hesitation to individuals, clubs and other groups, whether it be cash donations, trophies, etc.
The local footballers formed a guard of honour, and barmen employed at the pub carried the coffin. At the graveyard it was shouldered by the tug o’war team. Well known Comhalas member Mick Crehan played a lament at the graveside.
It was nineteen years ago the Pat, then a barman at Carrolls in Allenwood, bought the tiny pub in Prosperous. He combined a philantrophic (sic) nature with a good business sense which saw it expand rapidly. It gave life to the local branch of Comhaltas and at one time there were few musicians of note who did not play at The well known Wednesday night sessions.
Photographs on the wall relive many memorable nights of impromptu sessions. Anyone was likely to turn up at Dowlings and they had the best of sound equipment on hand to provide entertainment that drew visitors from at home and abroad. Christy Moore and Donal Lunny were just two of the regulars there.
Pat’s one ambition had been to own his own pub and he put much of his life into running it. He was known to have taken only two holidays – both to the U.S.
The regular Wednesday night sessions continued at Dowlings up to last week. It is understood the pub will remain in the family – Pat himself was single – yet a family member said this week it would never be the same without its proprietor.
Priest and former priests from the parish and from surrounding parishes assisted at the funeral. The attendance included Deputies Paddy Power, Charlie McCreevy and Bernard Durkan. Chief mourners were his brothers, Jim, Arthur, Michael, Sean, Joe and Tom.

The funeral of Prosperous pub owner, Pat Dowling, who died in March 1983

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