Panda was born in no 80 St Bridget’s Gardens. He is the one of 12 children, he’s the 7th of eight sons and 4 sisters. Hi Mum had 14 births, sadly one child was a stillbirth and the other died in infancy.
The family was originally housed in Crumlin but his parents, Mum in particular couldn’t settle as they were too far outside the city. At that time Crumlin and even Killester were considered the country. The family returned to the inner city, moving in with Mum’s sister in St Laurence’s Mansions until they were rehoused into No 80 St Bridget’s Gardens.
Panda’s Dad developed TB as a young man and he was hospitalised for months on end. He was placed in a ward with 21 other people. He was the only one to survive. The family story is that a very famous doctor from Scotland came to Dublin and began operating on the lungs of TB patients and removing the disease. His Dad educated himself whilst he was in the hospital and he could read and write. A lot of people who couldn’t read or write would come to him for years for help with reading official correspondence and as a result he was known as gentleman Jim. On being discharged from hospital he began work as a book-keeper.
Panda left school and began work on the docks as a messenger boy. A series of jobs as a lounge boy, hospital laundry worker in Stewarts Hospital eventually led to him acquiring a position in the Point Depot as a stage hand and rigger, building stages and scaffolding. He worked in the Point Depot for the next 27 years.
When the Point closed for renovation, he moved to working in RTE. He continues to work there to this day as a studio technician on a variety of shows.
Panda. Met the love of his life, Patricia, in a dance club in town called Slack Alice’s. They recently celebrated 30 years of marriage. Their wedding reception was held in the North Star. This Hotel a small boutique Georgian hotel was built originally to service the developing railway system. He and Patricia have four children, 2 boys and twin girls and 6 Grandchildren.
Panda’s happiest memories of Sheriff St is the long summer holidays from school. The area produced a lot of talented footballers. They played football every day but Sunday was a particularly popular day for the big matches. They met in the playground at approx. 4.00 pm after Sunday lunch was over and they would play until 10.30 pm when the summer light faded. The score would often be 90 all with the next goal deciding the match. He has made lifelong friends in the community and they are still connected to this day. The hardest part of this question was trying to choose just one happy memory as there are so many.