Patrick and family are bound for Donagh for Christmas!

By Mark McGoldrick

WHAT a year it has been. The Covid-19 pandemic has left its mark in every quarter of the world.

In the heart of Vancouver, in the ethnically diverse city in Canada, St Patrick’s Donagh clubman Patrick Quaile and his family are counting down the days until they can set foot on Irish soil, in time for the Christmas festivities.


Quaile and his wife, Sarah, moved to Vancouver in 2014 and has sinced welcomed two sons, Shea and the youngest Oisin, who is just eight months old.

Despite living so far away from home and across the other side of the world, Patrick feels that Vancouver is a nice place for a young family to group up.

“We welcomed our second boy, Oisín, in March of this year. The two boys, Shea and Oisin, enjoy growing up here in Vancouver and, to be honest, it’s a fantastic place to raise children. There’s always something to do and the facilities for young children are second to none. You could genuinely do something different each weekend of the year.

“There is plenty of football about to get them involved in but there is also other sports such as hockey that they wouldn’t really have the opportunity to participate in at home.”


2021 has been a standout year for Quaile. A founder of the St Finnian’s GAA club, the Donagh man led his team to a Senior and Junior Championship Canadian victory.

He feels that playing sport and GAA is a good way of building friendships and he feels that it is a good way of uniting ex-pats who are living away from home.


“This year with St Finnian’s was great. To do the double in the Junior and Senior Championship in Vancouver was a fantastic achievement by everyone,” reflects Quaile.

“We have turnover every year, with people coming and going from the city, and to get two teams together and win championships, is a really proud moment.”

While Quaile is proudly flying the flag for Fermanagh, he acknowledges that ‘most counties are represented’ within the St Finnian’s club.

He feels that playing sport and GAA is a good way of building friendships and is nice to be able to unite ex-pats who are living away from home.

“That’s what makes it special because you’re winning with lads you would never have met only for the existence of the club.

“Being involved in a GAA club abroad is really important, especially with the pandemic still lurking in the background. It allows you to meet up with friends, catch up and forge new connections.

“Our club is the heartbeat of our members and being able to play GAA, whether that be training midweek or games at the weekend, is definitely something to look forward to each week.”


As the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 continues to spread across the world, Quaile and his family have had to live with the dread of contracting Covid in Canada, being so far away from their family at home in Fermanagh.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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