‘They were a very friendly couple

Paul Hickey & Seamus Duke  The sad deaths of two respected members of the Knockvicar Community have caused great sadness this week. The remains of Paddy Joe McCormack and his wife Annie (nee Lohan) were discovered at the couple’s home in Knockvicar, Boyle, late on Tuesday night by Boyle Gardaí. Gardaí conducted a technical examination at the McCormack’s home throughout Tuesday night. The deaths are not being treated suspiciously. News of the deaths was conveyed around the county yesterday (Wednesday). Mr. and Mrs. McCormack were affectionately regarded by their neighbours at Knockvicar, where they had lived all their married lives. Paddy Joe McCormack was a native of the area who retired from his job with Roscommon County Council earlier this decade. Annie McCormack was a native of Aughnasheelin in Leitrim who first came to Knockvicar to work as a housekeeper with the Shivnan family in the 1950s. Gardaí were called to the McCormack home on Tuesday night when local postmistress Ms. Ann Beirne raised the alarm. Speaking to Roscommon People yesterday Ms. Beirne said that she had noticed that the couple had not been around for a number of days.  Ms. Beirne contacted the Gardaí after she noticed that the couple had not collected their copy of the Roscommon Herald on Tuesday evening. ‘They usually collect their pension every weekend but with the Post Office being closed last Friday I thought that they might just have been confused and missed the day. Then I was away for two days so it was just on Tuesday when they did not come in to collect their Roscommon Herald that I decided to raise the alarm. ‘I rang the Gardai and they took it from there’ said Ms. Beirne.  The tragic deaths have created an immense sense of loss in the tightly-knit community. The couple are survived by Mr. McCormack’s sister Mrs. Frances Flynn (Geevagh), by Mrs. McCormack’s two brothers, and by the extended families. Speaking to this newspaper last night (Wednesday) local resident Mr. Micheál Shivnan expressed the great sadness that is felt in his community this week as the local people struggle to come to terms with the sad deaths. Annie McCormack worked at the Shivnan family home when she first came to Knockvicar. ‘The whole community is shocked by the deaths of Paddy Joe and Annie McCormack. They were both inoffensive and retiring people who were very happy together and who were pleasant to everyone. They were very friendly and nice neighbours. We thought an awful lot of them and my own family has lovely memories of them. I knew Annie since my early childhood and she was very nice to us while we were growing up,’ said Mr. Shivnan. The couple visited Boyle, Carrick-on-Shannon, and Drumshanbo on their motorcyle regularly. Fr. Brian Conlon paid tribute to the deceased couple when contacted by the Roscommon People last night (Wednesday).  ‘Paddy Joe and Annie McCormack will be remembered as pleasant, retiring, people who contributed to the locality by their friendliness and inoffensiveness. They travelled to Cootehall Mass every Sunday on their autocycle where they had their own seat in the side aisle of the church.  ‘They were very pleasant people who were nice to everyone. They were always fifteen to twenty minutes early for Mass and they came to Mass on a weekly basis. They were a very united couple who did everything together,’ said Fr. Conlon. The local postmistress, Ms. Ann Beirne, also expressed sorrow. ‘They were a very nice couple. They were a private couple but they were well known and well liked in the area,’ she said. Local public representative Cllr Rachel Doherty (Fianna Fail) spoke of her shock and sadness yesterday. ‘I knew Paddy Joe and Annie McCormack. They were lovely quiet people and I am very sorry to hear of the tragedy. There is a lot of shock and sadness in the area,’ said Cllr. Doherty. Funeral arrangements will be made by the families of the deceased following today’s (Thursday) autopsy. The couple are survived by Mr. McCormack’s sister Mrs. Frances Flynn (Geevagh) and by Mrs. McCormack’s two brothers. May they rest in peace.