Sunday 17 December 2017

Paudie was Mayor of Cleariestown

By Maria Pepper

The late Patrick (Paudie) Duff.
The late Patrick (Paudie) Duff.

Mr. Patrick (Paudie) Duff who died recently, was a former Mayor of Cleariestown who was known by everyone for his kindness towards neighbours and friends.

Paudie of 114 Belvedere Grove and formerly Kilmannon, Cleariestown died peacefully in Knockeen Nursing Home following an illness. He was 77 years old and had suffered ill-health for a number of years.

He is survived by his partner Mary Anne Clancy; her sons Shane and Philip, her daughter-in-law Eileen and her grandchildren Amy and Rebecca and by his extended family and many friends. He was predeceased by his brother Jem.

Paudie grew up in Cleariestown and attended Cleariestown national school and Wexford Technical School before learning his trade as a mechanic working at Chapburn's garage in Carcur and later in Cummins of Ballycross, Wexford Co-Op and O' Connors of Philipinstown, Cleariestown.

He was a talented mechanic and was brilliant with all types of engines whether car, tractor or boat engines.

When his mother Molly became ill, Paudie began working for himself from a shed at home in order to look after her. His premises was a hub of activity with people calling for a chat. Paudie was always available, day or night if anyone had a breakdown. He nursed Molly until her death 26 years ago.

In his spare time, Paudie was a member of the Drinagh Mummers who formed a guard of honour as his coffin arrived at St. Mannon's Church in Cleariestown where his lifelong friend Fr. Fintan Morris of Kiltealy celebrated funeral Mass.

Over 20 years ago, Paudie was elected Mayor of Cleariestown as part of a parish fundraising campaign in which he raised the highest amount of money. It was a proud occasion for him and he kept the chains of office as a memento of that time.

In 1996, he met Mary Anne Clancy when she went to him to get her car fixed on the recommendation of a neighbour who said 'he won't rob you'. Shortly afterwards, they began a relationship and 12 years ago when Paudie became ill the first time, he moved into Belvedere Grove where Mary Anne looked after him. It was supposed to be a temporary arrangement but he never went home although he did go out to Kilmannon on a daily basis to potter around in the garage.

Paudie was embraced by Mary Anne and her family who loved him dearly. In a eulogy delivered during the funeral Mass, Mary Anne's son Shane said 'Paudie came into our lives nearly 18 years ago and since that time my mother's and our lives were changed for the better'.

'The initial introduction between my mother and Paudie was through our neighbours Ellen and Tossy and it didn't take long for my mother to see the true gent hidden underneath all the diesel and oil,' said Shane.

'For the last number of years, they did everything together from family occasions, holidays in the caravan, events in Cleariestown such as Christmas parties and tractor runs. My mother and our family will have many fond memories of our time with Paudie but as I am sure my mother will agree, a big bonus to the time spent with him was the massive family and community which had kept Paudie to themselves for so many years, that we now know as friends.'

'Whether by the name Paudie, Paddy,Dr. Duff or the Mayor of Cleariestown, he was known far and wide and was a truly gentle and caring man who always had for for anyone who came to the gates in Kilmannon and no matter what time of the day, hail, rain or snow, he would always do everything he could to help someone in need' said Shane.

'I know myself, Philip, Eileen, Amy and Rebecca will always hold a special place in our hearts for Paudie who brought so much to our family.'

Tony and Teresa Kehoe of Teresa and the Stars played music in the church including Paudie's favourite song 'The Blood Stained Bandage' about Taghmon which was sung during the Communion.Burial took place in Cleariestown Cemetery and afterwards, the parish committee invited the large turn-out of mourners to partake of refreshments in the local hall. Paudie was dearly loved by everyone in the parish.The Month's Mind Mass will take place in Cleariestown Church on Friday, November 18 at 7.30 pm.

Wexford People

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