On October 4 2012, Brookeborough community lost one of its best known and respected senior citizens.
Joe Donaghy passed away peacefully but unexpectedly at his home at Cornakessagh. He was born there on October 16 1925, the eldest son in a family of nine born to Paddy and Bridget Donaghy.
He was predeceased by his brothers Eddie and John sisters Patricia (Mc Connell), Emma( Breen), Kathleen(Hanna) and is survived by Lizzie(McNally Tempo), Angela ( Montgomery Knocks), Bernie ( Coolahan Galway), cousin Kevin Donaghy( Cornakessagh) and wider family circle.
Joe was a very outgoing and sociable person, and had a great ability to make easy conservation with all ages. His home was always a place of welcome and hospitality.
After leaving primary school at Brookeborough, he worked on the family farm, and also helped local farmers at times of peak labour demands i.e. turf cutting, cropping, haymaking and harvesting and also assisted in improving and erecting farm buildings.
In his early youth he attended the local fairs, quite often in the company of John Beacom a respected cattle dealer. Joe had a gift of a marvellous memory and could recall many stories of that era. He farmed at Cornakessagh all his life and for a long period in partnership with his brother Eddie until he predeceased him in 1998.
Joe witnessed many changes, over the years, for the greater part of his active farming life the horse was pivotal in farm work. In this practice Joe was recognised as a skilled horseman, his advice was often sought by neighbours when purchasing a suitable animal.
A person with a good variety of interests, he was a founder member of Brookeborough Gaelic Football Club in 1955, and contributed much over the years particularly in the formative years.
At the annual sports day for many years he was quite often entrusted with manning the mineral and refreshment stall, because of his dependability and sharp mathematical brain.
Joe was a good supporter of his local Parish and took part in an older custom of collecting house to house for church and school funds.
Many aspects of Joe's life epitomised sound values of the past, one of which was when neighbour helped neighbour in the custom of swapping, when recompense was not considered.
He had many sound quotes of wisdom in helping individuals face the challenges of life, one in particular was, "Don't jump the fence until you come to it ". A sizeable congregation of friends, neighbours and parishioners attended his funeral Mass in St Mary's Church, Brookeborough on Saturday, October 6 and burial afterwards in Parish cemetery.
His family friends and neighbours have many happy memories of Joe and wish that he may rest in peace.