FERMOY and its hinterlands were very saddened at the news of the death of one of its most famous and innovative sons the late Mr Paddy O'Keeffe, 89, formerly of Duntaheen Road, Fermoy, and who resided at his own residence in Grange, Killavullen, where he died peacefully last Sunday week.
Having grown up on the family farm which has the River Blackwater flowing peacefully at one side of it, it was natural for him to follow a life involved in improving the lot of Irish farmers.
In 1951 he became the editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, a position he held until he retired in 1993, he maintained his interest in the farming world right up to the very end by contributing his weekly article in the Journal up to and including the week he died.
Fittingly enough, his final farewell ceremony took place at the Corrin Mart Event Centre where a Memorial service was held in his honour, many tributes were paid to the life and the work of the late Paddy, including one from the Minister for Agriculture Mr Simon Coveney TD, the staff at the Irish Farmers Journal, the members of the IFA and many Agricultural leaders all expressed sympathy to his wife Jane, to whom he had only been married for a few months, his first wife of 60 years, Anne, sadly passed away in 2011, to his family daughters Margaret (Egerton), Elizabeth (Jeffries), Josephine ( Wyse), and son Patrick, their spouses, his 12 grandchildren, and his sister Joyce,
He will be sadly missed by his very large circle of friends throughout Ireland and indeed across the world.
One such friend was our own Town Councillor and present Mayor Michael Hanley, indeed rarely would a week or two pass by without meeting each other for their chat over a friendly cuppa at the Grand. Michael regarded the late Paddy not only as a close personal friend but also as a mentor who was always a great support to him.
As well as chairing such committees in agricultural circles, he also served on the board of the RTE Authority. Indeed such was his dedication to research within agriculture, that Teagasc have announced that the new research facility at it's base at Moorepark on the outskirts of Fermoy is to known as the Paddy O'Keeffe Innovation Centre, some tribute to the man himself. In keeping with his great zest for research, the late Paddy donated his body for medical science and research. To his wife, family and extended families we offer our sincere condolences.