Maurice Healy Remembers the late Paddy Joe Baily

The late Paddy Joe Bailey, is remembered here by his friend and film-maker, Maurice Healy. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Maurice Healy – helped in the making of the documentary by colourful contributions. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The Dublin based Tralee native, Maurice Healy sent the following piece on his feelings at learning of the death of Paddy Joe Baily.

Maurice was the main driving force behind the making of the Waiting for Houlihan documentary on the life and work of Con Houlihan back in 2002.

It was at this time that Maurice called on his old friend, Paddy Joe, who died on October 9th just gone, and he became one the interviewees for the documentary.

The following is Maurice’s letter:

“I was sad to learn recently of the death of Paddy Joe Baily of Rathanny. I extend my sympathy to his wife Therese and family.

During the making of the documentary, ‘Waiting for Houlihan’, at the River Island Hotel in Castleisland, Paddy Joe, accompanied by his brother Tadgh and their friend Seán O’Sullivan gave me some fierce ribbing.

Ar Shlí na Fírinne

It’s hard to believe that all three are now imithe ar shlí na fírinne, or should I say gone to the ’Latin Quarter’ of Oileán Chiarraí, along with Con Houlihan, Mike Kenny, Tom Wrenn, Sheila Prendiville and others who participated in or indeed attended the launch of the film in Castleisland – Moss Keane, Mick Doyle, Colm Murray, Aindreas Ó Gallchoir, Bill Kirby.

I apologise if I have omitted the names of people who have passed away without my knowledge.

A Colourful Description

In the film, Paddy Joe gave a very colourful description of rugby training sessions back in the day. He recalled running up and down steps made from bags of barley, carrying Con Houlihan on his back.

He also helped me track down a copy of ‘The Taxpayers’ News’, which was written and published by Con Houlihan and local politician Charlie Lenihan.

Con’s Intriguing Story

This formed the backdrop for an important sequence in Con’s intriguing story. If memory serves me right, it might have been Paddy Joe’s own copy of the newspaper, which he located and gave to me.

If you’re reading this Con, you will be happy to note that I have put the apostrophe in the correct place – The Taxpayers’ News.

Con once told me that a man, who could misplace an apostrophe, was capable of anything.

Happy days indeed, may God rest them all.”

Maurice Healy, Dublin.

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