TRIBUTES have been paid to Paul Shanahan, one of the founders and stalwarts of the Huddersfield Irish Centre, following his death, aged 73.
Born on a small farm near Abbeydorney, Co. Kerry, in 1942, Paul left Ireland in 1965.
He qualified as a teacher – taking a master’s degree from Manchester University — and over the course of his career held posts at St Augustine’s in Bradley and Huddersfield Technical College.
He taught a range of subjects, becoming Head of Department for Adult Education.
Paul, always steeped in Irish interests from history to hurling, was very active in the Irish community.
In the 1990s he helped found a group called the Huddersfield Irish Society, a community radio initiative.
In their weekly slot they covered Irish news, affairs and Irish music.
They also ran the Rose of Tralee competition with great local interest shown — the need for an Irish community centre soon became apparent.
Along with the Huddersfield Irish Association, of which Paul eventually became secretary, work began and very soon the Huddersfield Irish Centre came into being.
As friend and fellow teacher Pat Conaghan put it: “Paul was a man who was very active in the community. He was a reader at Mass for over 40 years, a collector for Christian Aid, and a governor at All Saints High School...through his work in education and later through the Irish Centre, Paul touched so many lives."
Paul’s passion for sport remained undiminished throughout his life, and this again brought him into active community participation.
His interest was divided between GAA and golf. His early years playing hurling stood him in good stead when he turned to golf.
He would regularly journey home to Ireland to indulge in his pastime.
Michael Paul Shanahan was born on January 15, 1942. He died on November 23, aged 73.
He is survived by his wife Kay and his three children Aidan, Kieran and Brendan.
Following a Funeral Mass at St. Patrick's Church on November 30, he was buried at Abbeydorney, Co Kerry.