The Irish community in Britain is mourning the passing of Paddy Cowan, the founder and owner of the ‘Irish World’, a weekly newspaper dedicated to the Irish in Britain.

The Longford man, who was 78, died peacefully on Tuesday last with his family by his side.

He founded the ‘Irish World’ in 1987 – it serves as one of the key sources of news from home and within the Irish community in Britain, particularly in London.

Mr Cowan, who was described this week as “a champion of the Irish community in London”, was the life president of the Longford London Association, a former trustee of the London Irish Centre, a London GAA stalwart, as a county player, committee member and in more recent years a sponsor. He was also a long-time member of the Dulwich Harps GAA Club in the city as well as the now defunct Geraldines GAA Club.

His widely read publication helped promote Irish culture in the UK and through the Irish World Awards helped launch the careers of musicians like Nathan Carter and Lisa McHugh.

His proudest moment came in August 1994 when the IRA announced its official ceasefire, the news came too late in the day for the national daily newspapers’ deadlines but just as the in-house published ‘Irish World’ was about to hit the press that fateful Wednesday night.

The ‘Irish World’ newspaper was the first anywhere in the world to carry the ceasefire story – on the front page of course – and a framed copy of that edition sits proudly on his office wall on London’s North Circular Road.