The just retired Bank of Ireland, Castleisland branch manager, Paddy Garvey surprised a couple of innocent bystanders on the street of the town on Friday evening.
Donning a present of an autographed county hurling jersey, Paddy came out as a Clare man.
“I was sure he was from West Kerry,” was one man’s response to the revelation brought about by the first fitting of The Banner strip.
Paddy was also surprised with a wonderful painting of a section of the River Walk in Castleisland by Tralee based artist, Jane Hilliard.
Castleisland in 2011
There was also an Arsenal jersey and a cake to reflect his adoration for the cross-channel club. And Saturday events at Wembley Stadium were in the pipeline.
The Labasheeda, Co. Clare native, Paddy Garvey was transferred as manager to the Castleisland branch in 2011.
This was after he filled similar roles in branches in places like Tralee – his first taste of management after promotion in 1990.
After 21 years in Tralee, Castleisland beckoned in 2011.Caherciveen,
The Caherciveen branch was Paddy’s first posting in 1979 and he was there until 1984 and it was there he met his wife, Maria.
Cork’s Patrick Street Branch
Next came a move to Cork’s Patrick Street branch in January 1984 and in June 1984 he was transferred to Dublin as Maria was nursing there.
Then came Tralee and Castleisland and the rest in his story.
“I’m originally from Labasheeda, Co. Clare. My father Dan Garvey was a Brosna man, who was a creamery manager and moved to Clare to work.
“He met a Clare woman and stayed there,” said Paddy who obliged with a short account of a career which he feels took him in a full circle.
During his time in Castleisland – and in very recent years, Paddy was mainly responsible for the eye-opening Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town Expo.
Industry Great and Small
This was an event which bristled with pride in local industry – great and small and it packed the spacious Castleisland Community Centre on November dates over the past two years.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Castleisland and found the people to be so welcoming, genuine and supportive.
“I have made great friends since my arrival. I was delighted to have the opportunity to organise two enterprise town events and thrilled that the bank chose to invest funds in Castleisland and promote business there.
“Not only the business but the entire local community got behind the event which proved to be an outstanding success.
Father from Brosna
“As my father was a Brosna man who went to Clare and I as a Clare man finished my banking career in Castleisland I felt that I have done the full circle,” said Paddy.
Donal ‘Duke’ O’Connor worked as porter at the Bank of Ireland from May 1969 and for close on 50 years thereafter. In that amazing span of time he served under eight managers from: Drinan to Garvey. In between, he served terms under: Arthurs; Coolican, Colbert, Dooley, Flavin and Denise Mullane Kerry’s first female bank manager.
In Paddy Garvey, the meticulous Donal found a fantastic manager.
“That might sound over the top to you but he deserves every letter of it. He was excellent with both staff and customers and you must remember he came to Castleisland at a very trying time for the bank and for the people of the country.
“He worked wonders with a small staff through those times and that’s why I think so highly of him,” said Donal.
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