One of Enniskillen's most popular publicans, the late Pat Blake was laid to rest on Monday following his death on Saturday, June 29 following a short illness.

Synonymous with the licenced trade in Enniskillen for many decades, the 91-year-old was highly-regarded for his career in the Melvin House, or what was fondly referred to as 'Blakes of the Diamond' and is now famous as 'Pat's Bar'. 

A true Enniskillener, born between the bridges on Church Street in 1933, above Blakes of the Hollow, he loved Enniskillen and it loved him back.

On Sunday evening, the hearse carrying his remains stopped at various points in the town: on the Diamond outside Pat’s Bar, where his family walked behind the hearse; outside Blakes of the Hollow, where he was born; and finally, outside St. Michael’s Church, where he was a faithful worshipper.

The respect with which Mr. Blake was held in Enniskillen could be seen from the large community presence at his funeral on Monday.

Individuals from local businesses, the licensing trade, and the community sector were among those who attended his funeral with family and friends, as well as representatives from the SDLP, which his son, Paul, is standing for in the general election today.

Leading tributes to Mr. Blake, Paul Blake remembered how his father “lived life to the full”.

Mr. Blake said: “He was wonderful, I have heard a lot of words said about him, all very true, he was a true townie and loved it.

“As a person, he had a wicked sense of humour, a real cheeky smile and he always looked on the bright side of life.

“He had a passion for Enniskillen and seeing it do well. He had a great passion for the arts, and he and mum were big supporters of the drama festival.

“He was always the person you could rely on if there was any crisis in your life, or someone to talk to or console with.

"You could always rely on him to go for a pint. He kept himself very positive in life.”

Receiving his education at Castleknock College, Dublin, Mr. Blake was sent to the Red Lion in Kilburn, London to learn the bar trade before taking on the management of the pub which still bears his name.

Mr. Blake explained: “When he returned, my granda had bought the Melvin House, as it was, and it became Pat’s Bar.

“He was not comfortable with that - he didn’t like the idea of his name on it. He was very modest, but his name became synonymous with it anyway, everybody was calling it Pat’s Bar or top Blakes; the name stuck after a while.

"He loved his time there; he was over 40 years on the Diamond.”

Mr. Blake retired from Pat’s in 1996 and later worked for a few years in Blakes of the Hollow before embracing his retirement.

Outside of work, Mr. Blake was a man of “deep Christian faith” and regularly attended 10am mass at St. Michael’s Church, enjoying a sociable coffee afterwards.

He was involved in Enniskillen Rugby Club, having learnt rugby at Castleknock, and later played for Enniskillen, and another great passion was golf.

Mr. Blake explained: “He used to organise a golf outing to Bundoran. The people who went on those trips found them to be absolutely memorable; golf was a great hobby and passion for him up until a few years ago.”

Up until his illness progressed rapidly a few weeks ago, Mr. Blake was in good health, explained his son.

“He lived a great life; he was his usual self going in and out to mass, having a coffee, walking from the house into town for a few pints.

"He loved watching football and watching the rugby. He always lived a full life.”

Mr. Pat Blake’s funeral took place at St. Michael’s Church, Enniskillen on Monday, July 1.

Following the funeral, his remains were buried at Cross Cemetery.

Funeral arrangements were carried out by Patrick Blake Funeral Directors.

Mr. Blake was predeceased by his wife, Philomena ‘Mena’ née Dourish in 2022. He is survived by his three children, Briege, William and Paul.