18 April 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard


Somehow or other, we Irish seem to be all too reluctant to recognise prophets in our midst.
In this regard, the way long-time community activist Mackie Rooney was afforded a ‘This is Your Life’ reception last Saturday evening in the Complex in Scotstown speaks volumes for the partiality of the parishioners of Tydavnet.

The clarion call last weekend among the organisers and well-wishers was clearly one of ‘better to hand someone a bouquet of flowers when they’re alive than wait to throw them on their grave.’
Mind you, those privvy to the celebrations last weekend will tell you that there’s still a lot of life left in 73 year old Mackie’s batteries.

As Mark Twain was wont to say, rumours that the Complex hosted Mackie’s swansong as a doer in his locality have been greatly exaggerated.

Inveigled into going down to the Complex by his wife Pauline on the premise that he needed to drop in a parcel there for collection, the former Principal of Magherarney National School (he retired 13 years ago) was completely unaware of the covert operation which had been put in place to ambush him.

“I was completely stopped in my tracks,” says, Mackie, father of Deirdre (RIP), Aonghus, Michael and Fionnuala.

“I never suspected anything. Okay, there were a lot of cars around but I was told there was a function on for the local creche but then when I walked in and the lights were dimmed and I could see so many people that I knew there, it gradually dawned on me what was going on.”

Without further ado, Master of Ceremonies Seamus McElwain, in the presence of GAA Director General Pariac Duffy, launched into a ‘This is Your Life’ special with the famous Red Book in tow.
Mackie’s involvement over the years in organisations such as …

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