Wednesday 17 January 2018

Community mourns loss of 'Bard of Drogheda' Paddy

The late Paddy Cluskey
The late Paddy Cluskey

Alison Comyn

THE death took place last Friday of 'The Drogheda Bard' Paddy Cluskey, one of the town's true originals.

Beloved husband of Peggy, the local scribe, who was 81 years of age, will be sadly missed by his loving wife, sons Michael, John, David and Colum, and many other relatives and friends of the 'People's Poet'.

He penned thousands of poems down the years, and his three collections 'My Kind of People' chronicle a priceless history of the town, its characters and its tales.

'It was heartbreaking to hear of his death, as to say I loved him was an understatement ,' said fellow poet Bridie Maxwell. 'We would always read a poem out at the Cenotaph together for Remembrance Sunday, and it felt to odd this year for him not to be there. He will be missed so much.'

Friend and neighbour in Stameen Jim Corcoran said nothing went on in Drogheda that Paddy didn't know about.

'He was a great character and he knew everything that was going on in the town, and would write a poem about it too,' he said.

'He also loved his trips to Cheltenham and Bellewstown as he was a great fan of horse racing.'

Lifelong pal Nuala early said Paddy's home town of Drogheda was his first love; its memories, characters, customs and quirkiness.

'He had a poem for every occasion, which will become a written history for future generations,' she added.

'Paddy and Peg travelled the world extensively, gathering friends who to this day have remained steadfast, and recognise his goodness and loyalty.'

From the union of two of Drogheda's most well -known families – the Cluskeys and the Mullens – Paddy was born in 1932, the son of Jack and Peggy Cluskey, Halpin's Terrace.

A scaffolder by trade, he lived in Forest Edge, Stameen, with his wife Peggy, where they had four sons, all grown.

Cllr. Frank Maher paid tribute to the man whom he described as 'the bard of Drogheda.'

'The death of Paddy Cluskey is a huge loss to the town. He used his great talent to chronicle the life and times of his neighbours and friends', he said.

'He had a strong social conscience and was a great advocate for senior citizens and those most in need.'

Paddy was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery following 11 a.m. Mass at St Mary's Church, James' Street on Tuesday.

'I love the town of Drogheda

Built beside the Boyne

It doesn't seem the same

As it was in Lang Syne.'

Drogheda Independent

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