Family gathers for Paddy’s 100th
Family and friends gathered around Patrick 'Paddy' Wright at the Farmer's Kitchen as he marked a huge milestone in the form of his 100th birthday. Described by those closest to him as a unique, hard-working man, committed to family, friends and farming, there was no shortage of celebrations as he blew out the candles on his 100th birthday cake.
A man of many lives, Paddy has survived more than a few scrapes in his life including an overturned tractor, an attack by a bull, a collision with the Dublin to Rosslare train, a head on collision returning from an IFA meeting, a heart-attack and a stroke, but as his family say, you just can't keep a good man down, and he continues to live up to his affectionate title of 'the Boss'.
Born in 1919, the year of the first Dáil, Paddy has lived through the formation of the Free State, World War II, the establishment of the Republic, entry to the EU, the Peace Treaty, recession and huge social and cultural changes.
Paddy was born into a farming family at Sigginstown, Tacumshane, and married his beloved wife, the late Nellie, when he was 23.
They were 71 years married when she died in November of 2014 and Paddy still misses her every day.
The pair welcomed ten children and sadly Rose Marie and Noel are no long with us. When first married Paddy and Nellie lived in County Meath before making the move back to Wexford where he was a building contractor in the 50s while they saved for their farm in Graherogue, Killinick.
Paddy became very well-known in farming circles and served as Chairman of the Beet and Vegetable Growers Association and Vice-President of the IFA at different points.
He was also involved in the establishment of the Farmers' Co-operatives locally in Wexford.
A considered and personal letter from President Michael D Higgins was read aloud at Paddy's party by James Wallace of the IFA, who also presented him with the presidential cheque. Coincidentally, it amounted to the equivalent of 2,000 punts, the price Paddy and Nellie paid for their farm all those years ago.
Always an active and vociferous man, Paddy held his own at his birthday celebration, singing three of his favourite songs to the party-goers along with his grand-daughter Katie Wright, and meeting and greeting his extended family and friends and colleagues from the neighbourhood and the IFA.
He wished to thank everyone for joining the celebrations and particularly James Wallace from the IFA for the lovely speech he made and all his colleagues from the IFA and BVA for travelling long distances to celebrate with him. He said it was one of the best parties he had attended and hopes to repeat it all again next year!