Packie is named grandparent of the year
Dundalk man Paddy McGuiness (76) has been awarded the title of Specsavers Grandparent of the Year 2017 for his care and devotion to his grandson, James.
Sports broadcaster and grandfather of eight, Johnny Giles presented Paddy with his award. Paddy, who was only too pleased to be joined at the award presentation by his nominating grandchild James, was overwhelmed at winning.
James was born with profound disabilities and doctors said he may not survive for long or that he may not be able to speak or interact with people if he did.
However, Paddy refused to accept this and spent many a day singing to his grandson until he started to recognise songs with James laughing and smiling at his favourites.
Having only learning to walk when he was three and a half years old, Paddy spent one-on-one time with James every day helping him to take extra steps each time they met, helping James get stronger.
Paddy recently battled cancer but his commitment to James never changed. Even when he was sick and had little energy Paddy still called to see his grandson. When he did not have the energy for a walk he took James for drives making sure there was never a chance for either of them to miss one another.
'James and I share a special bond and I am so proud to see how far he has come and the progress he has made in recent years,' said the delighted grandfather.