The Irish Sheep Shearers Association (ISSA) has paid tributes to ones of its members – Padraig (Pat) Coffey – who has passed away suddenly.
Born a Kerry man, Pat – who lived in Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow - is survived by his wife – Breda – and five children – Brendan, Maureen, Deidra, Eileen and Rosaleen and seven grandchildren.
Releasing a statement, the ISSA said: “Pat has been shearing sheep for many years and he had his own contracting run which brought him onto many sheep farms for work.”
“He was a family man and he was so proud of his daughter - Eileen - when she became secretary of ISSA.” They added.
The association said Pat had been competition shearing for a number of years and was the “backbone” of establishing the Waterville Shearing Competition with the late Sean O’Sullivan which is run in July annually.
“Pat was unique amongst us shearers, in that, he was a two-hand shearer, yes he could quite happily shear using both hands & that’s a skill not many can pull off.”
Pat was heavily involved in organising the shearing competition setup at The Castledermot Vintage Day in recent years along with the Burke family.
“Pat was very proud of his shearing companion - Kevin Burke - and thought of him as a second son. He had also put time into raising much need funds for various charities close to his heart along with the ISSA sponsorship funds.”
Irish Team Manager
As Pat was a member of the Irish Sheep Shearers Association for many years, he was especially privileged in December when he was asked to become the Irish Team Manager.
He would have been accompanying the Irish team of shearers - who will travel to France in July - to compete at The World Sheep Shearing & Wool Handling Championships 2019.
“Sadly, missed by those who knew him throughout the country and wider world as Pat would have been very involved within the Irish Sheep Shearers Association. Particularly. in recent years - Rest in Peace, Pat.” The statement concluded.
Pat is reposing at St. Paul's Oratory Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow today (February 6th) from 2:00 pm, concluding with prayers at 8:00 pm. Removal on Thursday to St. Joseph Church, Baltinglass for 11:00 am mass followed by burial in Baltinglass cemetery.
Image source: Irish Sheep Shearers Association \ Facebook.