Leitrim family fundraising in memory of loving father

Leitrim family fundraising in memory of loving father

8 May 2019

A LEITRIM family are joining forces with Northern Ireland Kerry Hill Sheep Society to run a charity raffle in aid of Friends of the Cancer Centre. 

The raffle is in memory of Patrick Smyth, who was diagnosed with incurable cancer in April last year and passed away just before Christmas at the age of 48. 

Mr Smyth was described as quiet, considerate, kind and loving by his family who received tremendous comfort and support from the Friends of the Cancer Centre based at the City Hospital in Belfast. 

It is for this reason his family wish to show them their appreciation and help other families who have to face a similar diagnosis. 

Mr Smyth, who was a keen Kerry Hill sheep and Dexter cattle breeder, was well known throughout the area, especially in farming circles. 

The charity raffle will be running throughout the summer. Tickets are £1 each and will be available at agricultural shows, including Balmoral Show which begins today.

Kerry Angus, of the NI Kerry Hill Sheep Society, thanked all the local businesses who donated prizes for the raffle and said Mr Smyth’s family and the society were overwhelmed by their generosity. 

Kerry said: “Patrick was born in Leitrim and went to Legananny Primary School before going to St Malachy’s High School in Castlewellan, where he formed friendships that would last a lifetime.

“Patrick joined the emerging Leitrim Fontenoys Marching Band and toured the country with his best mate Martin O’Hare as a drummer in the early 90’s and it was around this time that he met his wife, Bridie. 

“They finally married in May 1998 and for the first year Patrick put his talents to work in building their family home on the site of the old Leitrim Post Office formerly owned by his grandfather.

“By 2010 they had three daughters Niamh, Aoife and Kyla. In recent years he developed a love for rare breeds and he built himself a considerable reputation with his Dexter cattle herd, Kerry Hill sheep and Leghorn hens.”

Kerry explained that the couple opened a glamping site on land adjoining their home, but in early 2018, just as the cabins were being built, Mr Smyth received the devastating diagnosis of incurable neuroendocrine cancer.

“Stoic and determined, he decided to receive the treatments that would give him more time,” she said. He repeatedly affirmed that the project, which would be his legacy for his family’s security, had to be completed.

“Throughout the summer of 2018 and beyond, Patrick and his friends and family battled on. Today Pine Tree Hollow Glamping stands as a lasting memorial to him.”