Reek View Terrace, Westport
Pat Farren was born on March 4, 1937, the eldest of eight, five boys and three girls, to Patrick Phillip and Ellen Farren both natives of Malin Head. Patrick Phillip was a Garda stationed in Crossmolina where the family were raised. When Patrick Philip retired in 1952 he bought a farm in Tievebrack just outside Castlefin in Co Donegal where they all moved to and where the family home remains to this day .
Pat joined the guards in 1958, trained in the old depot in the Phoenix Park before serving in various stations along the border including Clones, Co Monaghan. This is where he met Etta McPhillips and they married in 1962. Shortly afterwards Pat was transferred to Claremorris, then onto Louisburgh in 1964 where they raised their three boys, Paul, Andrew and Niall, before finally transferring to Westport in the Christmas of 1981 and where he retired in 1994.
He was lucky with his stations, particularly with both Louisburgh and Westport where he had the best of times and made many friends. While he was a Garda for around 30 years, the guards never actually defined him. He tended to place great faith in ‘local knowledge’ and was a firm believer in the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. Pat had a great social life, especially in later years when he retired. Horse racing and golf were two of his passions, the racing post, studying the form, accumulators and Paddy Powers were daily rituals. Similarly Pat was never happier than when out on the golf course with his golfing partners.
Etta, his late wife, was a large part of Pat’s life, was ever present, they came as a package. Etta ran the show. Pat was happy to let her, not that he had any choice but they worked, complemented each other greatly and together enjoyed forty- eight happy years of marriage.
Etta’s sudden death in 2010 was a terrible blow. At the time Pat said that “it would test your faith”, and his faith was certainly tested going forward, initially with a diagnosis of vascular dementia, then by the tragic death of his youngest son Niall in 2017, followed quickly by another life changing illness. Like a lot of men of his generation he bore his illness with great dignity, with no great fuss, and always had a smile for his many visitors right up to the very end.
Pat Farren passed away peacefully at Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar on December 11, 2019 and was laid to rest with his wife Etta in Mount St Oliver Cemetery, Clones, County Monaghan on December 14, 2019.
May his gentle soul have peaceful rest.