Saturday 25 March 2017

Paddy was one of Dunleer's most astute businessmen

I WAS chatting to a few people recently about Dunleer and how it has changed down the years and the many characters it produced.

So the question arose, ' who don't you write about some of them?

At times easier said than done, but if I'm to start anywhere it surely has to be Paddy Torris who sadly passed away in late 2010.

In the heart of the town you'll find Pat's Gift Shop, an institution at this stage, but it opened in 1969 when Paddy purchased it, having been run by Mrs Wall before that.

His first venture into business was in 1958 when he took over the premises of Patrick Rafferty, what became known as the Magnet Stores.

Paddy was probably one of the most astute business people in the region, starting up his own paper round at 13 and saving the wages, that was the late 40s.

He left school at 14 and began working for McGee's Stores on upper main street (for £1-8-1).

With his brothers in support, he turned the former Matthews Drapery into a VG Store in 1973 and it prospered.

Paddy once said that inflation was the biggest thing you had to watch in his business. 'Inflation has made millionaires out of fools and has led so called wise men into the poorhouse'.

Even in the late 70s he was warning of 'over-inflated' property markets.

Another thing Paddy was deeply involved with was the setting up of the Dunleer Brass Band, which sadly is no more.

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