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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 24 January, 2020

Roscommon man who died tragically preparing for his mother's funeral saved two lives with his organs

Mourners were told at Pa Bowens’ funeral that the lives of a man and woman had been saved by Pa’s donated kidneys.

cloonfad St Patrick's Church, Cloonfad Source:

A BUILDER WHO died in an accident preparing for his mother’s funeral has been hailed a hero after it emerged that two people had a new lease of life after receiving his kidneys.

Mourners at the funeral of Pa Bowens in Cloonfad in Co Roscommon were told that a man in his 50s and a 38-year old woman had successfully received his kidneys.

The 44-year old father of three died in a tragic accident which has shocked the rural community in Cloonfad on the Roscommon-Galway border.

He died on Wednesday two days after suffering serious injuries when he fell from a ladder as he erected lights at his mother’s home as they prepared for her funeral.

Mary Bowens died in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin last Sunday and the family’s grief was compounded when her eldest son suffered fatal head injuries the following day.

Hundreds of mourners who filled St Patrick’s Church in Cloonfad on Saturday were told that Mr Bowens was a popular man who was a pillar of the community.

An organ donor card, which Mr Bowens had carried for the past decade, was also included among the gifts. Mourners were told his kidneys had been successfully transplanted to a man in his 50s and a 38-year old woman.

He had spent two spells in 2007 and 2008 working as a volunteer builder with the Niall Mellon project in South Africa and his generosity and spirit was also evident when he plastered a house for a special needs girl in Mayo and refused payment.

Patrick Bowens Pick Up Photo Patrick 'Pa' Bowens Source: David Walsh

Parish priest Fr Joe Feeney told mourners that the community was struggling to come to terms with the deaths.

“There is great sadness, sorrow and shock. People prayed and hoped that Pa would recover,” Fr Feeney said.

The goodness of people has never been more apparent than the community trying to bring comfort to Pa’s family. It has been an outpouring of love and compassion as people come to terms with what has happened.
Death is a random visitor and never has that been more apparent than with what has happened here this week.

He said that Mr Bowens was “a great family man and a great community man”, who was always quick to help his neighbours. He was a hard worker and a very popular person in the locality.

His family was also well known and liked and Fr Feeney said this was evident in the large numbers of people who expressed their sympathy at Mrs Bowens’ funeral on Thursday and again for her eldest son.

Fr Feeney said he called to see Mr Bowens and his wife Elaine in the past week when his mother was in hospital and he told mourners of the great welcome he received in their house.

“Little did we think then what would transpire,” he said.

Gifts offered during the funeral mass included tools which Mr Bowens used in his work as a builder and also an All-Ireland medal he was proud to win as part of a tug-of-war team.

Mr Bowens is survived by his wife his wife Elaine, sons Jason and Adam, daughter Ciara, father Seán, brothers David, Michael, Seán, Tommy and Eamon and his sister Marina.

The small village on the Roscommon-Galway border came to a standstill as the cortege made its way to the cemetery in Cloonfad when Mr Bowens was laid to rest two days after his mother was buried there.

Read: Man dies after falling from ladder while preparing for his mother’s funeral

Read: 15-year-old arrested in relation to Talk Talk data theft released on bail

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John Fallon

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