'Kind and gentle man' dies in Naas house fire
THE PICTURE that emerges of the late Patsy Gibbons who died tragically in a fire at his home in Basin Street in Naas last week is one of a gentle and kind man of faith.
He was well loved by his neighbours who supported him while he gave everything away to those he thought needed it most.
It's clear that he was a man who took the basic tenets of his Christianity to actually mean something.
"He had an open house; anyone could walk in and make a cup of tea," said one of his neighbours, Timmy Conway, who described the late Mr. Giibbons as "like family".
A technical examination of the small house took place on Thursday afternoon, June 11, and the street was been cut off to traffic for a while.
Fire services were alerted to the fire at about 11.30 on Thursday morning and when they arrived discovered a fire in a back room of one of the small cottages on the quiet cul de sac.
The fire brigade service reported finding the body of the deceased in that room.
Patsy had arrived home the day before following a three month stint in hospital and a nursing home where he was recovering from illness.
He was in great form, neighbours reported, not only because he was glad to be home again but because his two sisters, Margaret and Mary, had, in his absence, done up his house, installing new windows and a shower.
"He was so delighted to get back to his own home that he did a little dance," Timmy Conway remembers.
Patsy was brought out to dinner that day but that evening as he got into bed it is understood a smouldering cigarette may have fallen onto the floor.
It is thought that he died of smoke inhalation.
"His sister found him the following morning, and ran down to us. When we went in it was like a sea of soot."
Patsy was in his late 60s.
From Sherlockstown originally, as a younger man he had worked in the Volkswagen garage in Clane and was known to be a very good mechanic. "I remember my father wouldn't bring his car to anyone else," Timmy explained.
The illness of an uncle took him to Donegal where he stayed until his uncle passed away, before going to England.
"He had a tough time of it in England but he came back with enough money to buy his house, and he was very proud to own it."
Timmy described Patsy as "an absolutely wonderful man. Anything he had, he gave away.
“He was robbed four times, but you’d hear nothing about it,” Timmy said, explaining that for the most destitute and vulnerable people Patsy’s house was known as a place to have a cup of tea.
People who had “nowhere else to go”, Timmy explained.
“He had wonderful faith, especially in Cardinal Basil Hume - he used to quote him all the time.”
As well as a being a daily mass goer, Patsy used to visit Knock regularly.
“He used to meet my brother Chris every morning – they would walk to our place before he’d go on and get the paper and the milk,” Timmy explained.
“My brother used to look after him in the morning, and give him n2 to get him into the bookies.
“I used to buy him six small packets of tobacco every week and he’d have one a day.
“I used to leave them in a drawer here so that he’d be able to get them,” Timmy explained.
“He gave everything away, he’d have nothing, but he was like our own family.”
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Weather for Naas, Ireland
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North west