A GREAT-GRANDFATHER famous for helping the homeless in Oxford has died, aged 78.

Paddy O’Hanlon, from Abingdon, was the driving force behind Oxford’s Night Shelter as well as other projects in the city.

He worked for Oxfam and Unicef, spending about four years in Uganda, and was described by family and friends at his funeral as friendly, honourable and dedicated.

Francis Dominic O’Hanlon, known as Paddy, was born in Dublin on August 4, 1937 to father John, a taxi driver. His mother died when he was just three years old.

He had three sisters, Frances, Gertrude and Molly, and two brothers who have since passed away.

Mr O’Hanlon grew up in Dublin and at the age of 16 moved to England and joined the Royal Air Force, spending a considerable amount of time in Germany.

After a short time in the armed forces, working in logistics, he worked for Oxfam and was based in Tubney Woods, packing kits to be sent to water-deprived areas.

During 1960, Mr O’Hanlon married Ann Bramley at Abingdon’s Roman Catholic Church. The couple lived in Saxon Way in the town for more than a decade, having four children together; Sean in 1961, Sharon in 1962, Stewart in 1964 and Patrick in 1965.

Mr and Mrs O’Hanlon separated and Mr O’Hanlon married Helen Thorley in 1978 at the Royce Rooms in Abingdon.

In the early 1980s he moved to Uganda to work with children’s charity Unicef.

On returning to Abingdon to be with his family, he began working with the homeless in Oxford.

He was appointed the first director of the Oxford Night Shelter in the city, after helping set it up in the mid-1980s.

He spent 16 years working with the homeless.

O’Hanlon House, the first port of call for rough sleepers, was named after him when it first opened in 2005 and remains a constant reminder of the dedication he showed towards homeless people.

The house now provides emergency accommodation and resettlement for up to 56 homeless people and provides day services for about 70 people.

Mr O’Hanlon retired from his work at 65.

He died on December 6 aged 78.

He is survived by his sisters, his four children, six grandchildren; Keiron, 26, Eloise, 25, Estelle, 23, Carl, 21, Conner, 19 and Otso, eight. He also has one great-grandchild, the son of Keiron.

His funeral was held at Oxford Crematorium on December 15.