22 November 2019 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The deep sadness occasioned on Monday evening by news of the death of well-known Clontibret man Peadar Morgan registered with particular poignancy among the staff of the Northern Standard newspaper, with which the colourful and enterprising wildlife enthusiast had a long and storied association.

Busy and active well into his eighties, Peadar – a proud Listinny, Clontibret man and late of Derrynoose, Co Armagh – succumbed to a brief illness at his residence on Monday, surrounded by his loving family. He acted many roles in his multifaceted life but was perhaps best known for his service as a Wildlife Ranger and for the seminal contribution he made to the formation and development of the famous O’Neill Pipe Band in Clontibret. But in the corridors and offices of the Northern Standard building, he was known as “The Scribe”, the third-person cognomen he frequently assigned to himself during the course of his weekly contributions to our columns as the Clontibret news correspondent.

Peadar claimed to be the first of the now legion of local corrs who supply much of the lifeblood of this newspaper, an assertion that the formidable longevity of his period as a Northern Standard contributor rendered irrefutable. He was certainly the doyen of this invaluable breed, and while he possessed many of the attributes of the exemplar that others taking on the task of submitting local news could profitably follow, in important and distinguishing ways he was an inimitable oneof- a-kind. His weekly scripts – which arrived on the editorial desk in their distinctive handcrafted copperplate early each week with the certainty of the sunrise – transcended the mere recounting of the facts and detail of things that had happened or were about to happen in Clontibret and its surrounds.

He was akin to a rural Samuel Pepys, with the diarist’s flair for reflecting events great and small through the prism of his own worldview and personal activities. Witty and idiosyncratic, his contributions to our village news section frequently transcended the mundane parameters of objective reportage to claim the territory of the sage columnist, casting a wryly observant eye on life’s passing parade. Peadar fuelled our news columns in another important way also. His activities as a guardian and rescuer of wildlife supplied a regular stream of human interest stories – a summons from Peadar guaranteed for our reporters and photographers an exciting odyssey with an often extraordinary story at its end and excellent and informative company along the journey.

When he retired from active wildlife service, he embarked on a treasured personal project which saw him establish the Wildlife & Heritage Centre at Listinny which evolved not only into an important educational resource but an increasingly essential must-see on the burgeoning Co Monaghan tourism…

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