All his life Paul was a great reader and he had the ability to remember in detail everything he read making him a formidable opponent in any debate. Along the way Paul read the Bible which changed his life forever, leading him to involvement with the fledgling Catholic Charismatic movement and later with a local Pentecostal group. Sadly Paul never felt inclined to commit his rich repository of knowledge to writing and so this legacy has gone with the man.
I recall being in town one afternoon with my friend Tony Ryan and we met Paul who was homeward bound, stopping to chat it wasn’t long before he began to quote from one of his favourite Christian writers, Finis Jennings Dake. As we were about to part Paul extended the invitation to walk home with him to see his library, a proposal to which we both gladly acceded , relishing the prospect of seeing this voracious reader’s book collection. Bringing us upstairs Paul waved his hand towards a solitary bookshelf which held about 10 volumes, saying, " this, gentlemen is my library ". Seeing our underwhelment he explained that he had a policy of passing a book on after he had read it , so the depleted shelves. On another occasion I was at a wedding reception in company with Paul and his wife as the band struck up for a waltz. Throughout the opening bars of the music Paul sat there explaining rather uniquely, " both my wife and I love to dance, but never with each other " Later he proved the point by dancing with practically every other woman in the hall but not his wife, and she did likewise!
In later years Paul’s health deteriorated and over time sadly I lost contact with him. He was one of those people who figure larger than life in memory, with his crisp rhetorical flourishes, his photographic recall of information and his contagious enthusiasm for the Scriptures. Paul never pretended the Christian way was an easy one and he was open about his own personal struggles, but he always conveyed an excitement and intellectual curiosity about every aspect of the faith and spirituality in general.
It was always a joy and an education to meet Paul Malone and listen as he explored an aspect of the Scripture or shared nuggets from the latest book he was reading. A street walk through Limerick is all the poorer for his passing and the city has lost one of its most erudite and colourful sons. Paul is survived by his wife Anna, and sons Paul and Brian.