THE DEATH OF PAD JOE WALSH
Many tributes were paid this week to Pad Joe Walsh (PJ) of Church Street, Mitchelstown who passed to his eternal reward at Cork University Hospital on Friday.
Born in Gortnasna in 1933, PJ was educated at CBS Mitchelstown and St Colman’s College, Fermoy. A former employee of Mitchelstown Co-op and later Dairygold, he was keenly involved in sporting circles, was a founding member of Mitchelstown Community Games in the mid 60s and was also a committee member of Grange Athletic Club for many years.
A lover of the outdoor life, P J enjoyed nothing better than to take his dogs for a walk in Glenseskin Wood or on the nearby ranges. Throughout his life he had a keen interest in public affairs and 1999 saw him become a member of Cork County Council when he took the Fine Gael seat vacated by the late Conor O’Callaghan.
He secured 1,369 first preferences and he served as a local county councillor up until 2004, proving to be a truly great representative for his constituents in that time. PJ decided against seeking re-election in 2004 due to failing health.
His former county council colleague, Aileen Pyne, this week described him as ‘a gentleman, an astute politician and a true statesman’.
“I had the honour of serving with him for five years on the council. I had known Pad Joe as a Fine Gael activist for years and was very much aware of his immense contribution to the local community.
"In the five years he was on the council, he worked flat out for his constituents and to do his utmost for the betterment of Mitchelstown. Though small in stature, he was a giant in contribution and there is no doubt but he would have retained his seat only for falling into ill health”.
Ms Pyne concluded by expressing her deepest sympathy to his wife Alice, daughters Margaret and Ann and son William. Speaking of his involvement with the Grange/Fermoy Athletic Club, Bob Burke said Pad Joe was one of the driving forces behind the club, ‘holding the position of chairman for many years’.
“I had the pleasure of travelling the length and breadth of Ireland with Pad Joe down through the years. He was a major inspiration to his daughters Margaret and Ann and his son William when they ran for the club and was hugely involved when the Galtee Grange Internationals were at their peak in the late 1970s and early ‘80s,” Bob said, adding that PJ was a brilliant man for attending meetings, “and of course he was also involved in the county board.”
Pad Joe was also a great believer in the co-operative movement and was always a noble advocate of, and promoter for, the local credit union in the town. The huge crowds calling to his home on Saturday and at Mass on Sunday bore testimony to the esteem in which Pad Joe was held.
The removal of remains took place on Saturday night to the local church and interment took place at Brigown New Cemetery on Sunday afternoon following 12 o’clock Mass.
He is survived by his wife Alice (nee O’Keeffe), daughters Margaret (Mullins) and Ann (O’Flynn), son William, brothers Jim, Br Frank (Ned), Willie, John, Mike and Denis, sisters Mary (Kenneally) and Peg (Brennan) to whom we extend our deepest sympathy. May he rest in peace.
Thursday 6th August 7:34pm