There was widespread shock and sadness last Friday at the passing of a well-known and much loved gentleman, Charles McCauley. Charles was from Carrowkeel, Quigley’s Point and is survived by his wife Mary, children Louise, Grainne, Cathal, Ciaran and Paul; Sisters Mary B, Margaret and Ann, and grandchildren, Éamonn, Oisin, Ultan, Stephanie, Sinead, Leah and Megan; his nieces and nephew and wider family circle.

Charles was well known and loved throughout the local area and beyond. Having served his time as a carpenter and worked for many years in the trade; in later years he worked as a Supervisor with FÁS and Community Development. Charles made a very popular name for himself in an all positive way with everyone he worked with.

An avid football fan, he never chose sides but rather enjoyed a good game of the sport. Mind you it can be noted that although a regular visitor to Finn Park and The Brandywell, he did have a love for Derry City first and foremost. A tradition now carried on by his son Ciarán. He never failed to enjoy a variety of sport on television.

When his children were younger Charles was well known for running regular training sessions in the field next to his house for upcoming Community Games sessions annually. Then with his involvement in the development of the Quigley’s Point Community Centre he used the facility there to train many many young people. Memories all fondly remembered last weekend at the McCauley home where Charles was waked.

At his funeral mass on Monday Fr Mailey told the large congregation that Charles was well known in the parish as ‘The Bishop’. Having been an active member of his church community and parish at large, Charles was the ‘go-to’ for many things. Fr Mailey said that for certain things the priest would know to contact the Sacristan, but for most it was widely known to ‘see Charlie’. Such was his position within his parish for many long years. Fr Mailey also said that Charles would be talked about for many years to come. That is for certain.

Charles was involved in many charity organisations and helped consistently to the very end of his life in local activities, parish activities and indeed community employment activities; to name but a few.

Charles was a very loved and respected neighbour and friend. The tears from all showed just how much he was loved by all and by their constant support to the family throughout his short illness. That neighbourly and friendly love was very important to Charles throughout his life.

However, at the heart of Charles’ life was his family. His wife Mary, his children, his grandchildren, his sisters, nieces and nephew were never stuck for a taxi, a handyman, a shoulder to cry upon, a helping hand, and so much more. Charles was at the heart of all areas of family life.

His popularity was very evident with the numbers who visited his home last weekend. The one word that stood out from all the rest was that of ‘Gentleman.’ Everyone referred to the Gentleman that was Charles.

However, to me he was so much more than just a Gentleman. Charles McCauley was my Dad.