LONG before social media was even thought of there was the likes of the late Paddy Meade.
For more than 50 years, the Clonakilty newsagent delivered the news into the palm of your hand in printed form.
His shop was also a great place in which to exchange social and community news.
It helped that the late Paddy Meade (79) loved what he did and was good at ‘the chat.’
Despite ‘retiring’ in 2010, he was the one who insisted on calling into the shop before 9pm on weekdays, and at 6pm on Sundays, to close up.
If closing took an hour or more, what the harm: as long as there were sales to be made, and chat to be had, Paddy was happy to work on.
In Paddy’s life, his family came first. But his customers became a sort of family too: they gravitated to him because of his sociability, his affability, and his quick wit.
He loved people. You could see it in every twinkle of his eye and every upturned grin.
Paddy worked right up until the middle of December until his illness overtook him and he passed away peacefully on January 28th.
At his funeral service, Grace Meade described her dad as a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of guy. With him, she said, honesty was always to the fore.
Paddy had previously worked as a mechanic but, from about 1965 onwards, he worked, together with his loving wife Mary, to build up the newsagents at Pearse Street.
It was something he loved to do – that and golf, having become captain of Dunmore Golf Club in 1984 and its president in 1995. Golf gave him a hobby and exercise, but, like his business, it was an introduction to a life-long and extremely wide circle of friends.
Grace said her father was proud of all his children – ‘Sean, Ken and me’ – but nothing made him more proud than the arrival, over time, of his eight amazing grandchildren.
To them he was ‘Gogga.’ Memories of him teaching them to ‘dodle odle’ (that’s colouring), climb trees, dig holes, plant spuds, onions, and rhubarb – to mention but a few – will live on. Grace said all the family – every last one of them – will ‘love him forever.’