11th May 2021
Paddy Mooney, a resident of the Dunabbey House, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, had a very special celebration to mark his 100th birthday on May 4th. A native of Dunabrattin, Annestown, Co Waterford, Paddy is a World War ll RAF veteran and his significant birthday was marked in a day of socially distanced festivities at the HSE/South East Community Healthcare’s residential nursing unit in Dungarvan.
Highlights included an honorary flypast by the Coastguard helicopter based at Waterford Airport and a visit from Airline Captain David Moen to present Paddy with his letter of congratulations and bounty cheque from President Michael D. Higgins.
A number of Paddy Mooney’s family and musician friends were able to gather outside Dunabbey House to wish him a happy birthday and help him celebrate.
Born in Dunabrattin, Annestown on May 4th, 1921, Paddy emigrated to England as a young man. He joined the Royal Air Force in the early 1940s and trained as a flight engineer, going on to serve in Egypt, Iraq and Palestine during World War ll. His missions included flying on Lancaster Bombers, which he noted, never caused him any fear. Paddy said he was never frightened.
After the War, Paddy Mooney worked at Boyd Cooper tailors in Mayfair, London and in 1953 made his way to Australia where he remained until the 1960s, when he returned to Ireland where he purchased a pub in Ballylaneen near Kilmacthomas. He subsequently moved on to serve with the grounds staff at the world famous Mount Congreve Gardens in Kilmeaden, Waterford.
In the letter read out to Paddy from President Higgins, he noted:
“You have lived through remarkable times in the history of Ireland and the world. You have witnessed remarkable changes, in lifestyle and technological developments, unimaginable at the time of your birth in February 1921.”
Director of Nursing at Dungarvan Community Hospital/Dunabbey House, Paula French said they were “thrilled that that so many efforts on and off this campus over the last year, the advance of vaccinations and the easing of some restrictions have made it possible for us to mark this day with the remarkable Paddy Mooney and his family.
“Despite the challenging times for residents, our excellent staff and their supportive families in each case, we looked forward to being in a positon to have this occasion and I’m delighted to report that it was indeed a happy birthday for Paddy.”
RTE were on hand to capture the big day.