Saturday 21 January 2017

Racing greats pay tribute to trainer Paddy

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

Published 01/11/2010 | 05:00

Paddy Mullins was a quiet man who "fought the good fight and ran the good race".

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A cap, a form book, a camera and binoculars symbolised the life of legendary horseracing trainer (right), mourners at the 91-year-old's funeral heard.

His devoted wife Maureen, and five children -- George, Tony, Willie, Tom and Sandra -- listened to moving tributes during his funeral Mass in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Goresbridge, Co Kilkenny, on Saturday.

Former EU commissioner Charlie McCreevy, businessman JP McManus, fellow trainers John Oxx, Ferdy Murphy, Ted Walsh, Noel Meade and John 'Shark' Hanlon and racehorse-owner Paul Duffen were among the estimated 1,000 mourners.

Photographs of the trainer, who passed away peacefully on Thursday morning, adorned the altar inside the small church.

Fr Larry Malone described how Mr Mullins had a "competitive edge". He considered it a blessing that he was doing "what he loved".

Surpringly, despite Mr Mullins's many feats with mares such as Dawn Run, one of his most prized possessions was a silver plate presented to him by the people of Goresbridge.

Kind

His wife Maureen, who wore a trademark brown racing hat, listened intently as her brother-in-law Paul Walsh told anecdotes about Paddy.

"He said very little and achieved a great lot," said Mr Walsh, who added that Mr Mullins was a "warm, kind man and a great observer of people".

Mr Walsh, who is married to Maureen's sister Angela, recalled how he once said to Mr Mullins: "Aren't we two lucky men to be married to these fine Gowran women."

His reply was: "I suppose so... There's a vagueness about them that's very attractive before you marry them."

Maureen was praised for being with Paddy for a "few very difficult furlongs" in the end. The congregation were told that the support shown by his children had been "equally unquestionable".

Irish Independent

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