Paddy was born in Kevin St. He is the third of five children. His family moved to Ringsend and lived in 52 Pembroke Cottages, which is facing the East Link Bridge. Both of Paddy’s parents worked in the Irish Glass Bottle Company in Ringsend. Paddy’s father eventually became a Customs and Excise Officer who was attached to the Customs House.
Paddy left school at age 14, which was usual at that time in families. Hi job title was Nipper. It was his responsibility to work as a tea and messenger boy. He began work in the Hammond Lane Company. There were two aspects to this company, one of which was a foundry and the other was a salvage yard responsible for converting old ships into scrap. The scrapyard stood on the site of the Ringsend rowing club today.
At age 16 he was let go from his job as he was too old for this role. He began working on the Docks for a company called Palgrove Murphy an import/export company. He recalled that the great thing about this company was the fact that they employed men from both sides of the river. All of the teams were interchangeable and the fact that the teams were from both sides of the river was a very uniting experience. There was no sense of us and them at all.
He met the love of his life Betty, in the Four Provinces Ballroom and they are together ever since. They have three children and six grandchildren.
Paddy’s happiest memory of his time working on the Docks both North and South is the real sense of fun and camaraderie amongst the men. He continues to have great friendships that were forged during that time in his life.