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A 31-year-old father who lost his battle to cancer last week has been descirbed as a true family man.

Monday, 2nd April 2012, 3:42 pm

Patrick McAtamney was diagnosed with bowel cancer just one year ago and leaves behind wife Andrena and three children.

The Gilford man was much loved and respected by all in the community, Fr Stephen Crossan told mourners at his funeral mass last Thursday in St John’s Church in the town.

Patrick, or Paddy to his friends, was given the nickname ‘family man’ describing how important his wife and children were to the young dad.

A plasterer by trade, Patrick was was also a keen sportsman. Tributes were paid at the funeral from a local boxing club, Tullylish Gaelic Club and Banbridge Town where his son Jamie plays for the Under 13 team.

Fr Crossan said Patrick’s wife Andrena is understandably devastated but will be well supported by the caring family and community around her.

Tributes were also paid on a social networking site.

One woman said, “Such a young crater with a lovely wife and young kids. My heart just goes out to them all. God Bless and give them all strength to cope over the next few tough days and beyond.”

A friend said Patrick enjoyed a good relationship with all members of the community.

“You were always near, no matter what religion we stood side by side,” he said. “You were a man with a heart of gold. Even though your body is at rest your spirit will never grow old.”