April 2016 saw one of the primary goals of the POC Fund realised. The grave of Don Patricio (St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Kilburn, London) has been fully restored; a headstone finally bears the name of Patrick O'Connell. The memorial is understated, as the man himself was. There's a sense among those who have studied the life and times of Don Patricio that this modest tribute in stone best exemplifies his character. Details of the official unveiling of the grave will follow in May. For now, we rest assured that the memory of Patrick Joseph O'Connell is finally written in stone.
On Thursday, 24th March, Irish assistant-manager, Roy Keane attended a meeting with members of the POC Fund in Castleknock to discuss the Fund's progress. At the meeting were Fund members, Fergus Down and John Collins, mural artist Michael Doherty with wife Maureen, and Maureen O'Sullivan TD with Keith O'Connor (assistant). Roy is no stranger to Patrick's story, having met Fergus over a year ago during the fledgling stages of the movement. He expressed particular interest in Patrick's association with FC Barcelona and also the regeneration of the dilapidated grave, offering Fund members best wishes going forward. The Fund then presented Roy (and Martin) with a framed image documenting Ireland's victory in the Home Championship in 1914. O'Connell captained the side that beat England and Wales, and drew with Scotland to claim the title. Roy is the latest member of a significant roll of honour. Three other Irish players have captained
The POC Fund would like to acknowledge the tremendous and continued support received from the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) in our efforts to honour the name of Patrick O'Connell. Gordon Taylor OBE (CEO), Colin Hill (Commercial Director) and former Manchester United Captain, Martin Buchan have all shown a great interest in our campaign. Last year Michael & Sue O'Connell, relatives of Patrick, were invited to PFA headquarters for a meeting to discuss the project. Martin Buchan also attended the plaque unveiling ceremony in Dublin in June 2015.
Like Patrick O'Connell, Martin Buchan is a former Manchester United player (456 games) and shares the honour of being a Man Utd Captain. He played in two World Cups for Scotland and was also an FA Cup winner in both Scotland and England. He actually helped the POC Fund locate Patrick's original PFA membership record (see the fascinating photo, right) and just recently Martin,