Mr Paddy McGowan: On the Buses

Wednesday, 23 November 2016: On the Buses

Eamon and Ivan
Eamon Cunningham [left] presenting Ivan Gilmore with Probus cheque

Before the meeting got underway Eamon Cunningham presented Ivan Gilmore with a cheque for £350.00.  Ivan is Chairman of “Care for Cancer”, an Omagh based charity which does tremendous work in the community.  It is the custom in Omagh Probus Club to invite the President to choose the charity to receive the proceeds of the raffle held at the annual club Christmas Dinner and in 2015 Eamon chose “Care for Cancer”.

Following this members settled down to watch a 45 minute DVD presented by club member, Paddy McGowan.  Comprised of archive film and interviews with those who lived through it, the DVD told the story of how Werner Heubeck, among others, kept the busses running in Belfast and beyond during the worst years of “The Troubles”.   It as a story of service and commitment through a time when high- jacking busses and setting them on fire became a symbol of civil unrest.   The presentation included the part played by drivers from the Omagh depot in the immediate aftermath of the Omagh bomb in August 1998 as they shuttled dozens of injured people to Tyrone County Hospital.  This part of the film was narrated by the man, who was at that time the Ulsterbus manager in Omagh, namely our own Paddy McGowan.  The appreciation of the club was shown by sustained applause for Paddy and his drivers.