A full house of card players, of the 31 variety, stood and applauded one of their own and the father of the weekly River Island Hotel gathering, Paddy O’Mahony from Cullen, North Cork.
Born on Christmas Day 1919 Paddy will celebrate his 100th birthday today on Christmas Day 2019.
An Envelope, Old Whiskey and a Cake
Paddy, a regular Sunday night player in the charity card drive in Castleisland, was presented with an envelope, a bottle of Bill Phil Whiskey* and was then ushered off to the side of the room where a huge cake was just waiting to be cut.
Paddy is one of the many card players whose weekly contributions to the River Island Hotel school makes it possible for the organisers to present five cheques for €1,000 each to five local, Kerry and Cork based charities a couple of times each year.
He was accompanied on this special night by his family members and his cards night partner, Betty Biggane and they were all photographed by most of the near 100 players who had gathered for both Paddy’s celebrations and the games of the night.
An Amazing Man
Paddy is an amazing man and among his many accomplishments is the fact that, as a keen and lifelong draughts player, he coached a young relative of his to win an All-Ireland Community Games draughts gold medal nearly a decade and a half ago.
“Playing cards, draughts and storytelling were alyays Paddy’s hobbies and he taught all the neighbours’ children how to play,” said his daughter, Siobhán Kelliher.
“He was a hard working farmer all his life. He started off with a small holding and gradually built it into a big farm.
Keeping up with Change
“He was a great man for keeping up with the changing times and he bought a tractor when he saw the need for change.
“Our house in Cullen was always open to neighbours and friends and he was happiest when the house was full and the games and stories got going.
“We were surrounded by love and friendship and we were all taught to respect one another and all our neighbours.
“He was delighted with the reception he got in Castleisland on Sunday night – in fact he was overwhelmed by it all and didn’t expect anything like it.
Delighted for Him
“We were delighted for him that he’s so appreciated there and we’re very thankful to the card players and the organisers for the efforts they made to make him feel so special.
“All the family gathered around him last night on Christmas Eve and he’ll be coming back over the border today for dinner with us,” said Siobhán.
Paddy has one sister remaining of his siblings and she’s well into her 90s – so longevity seems to be a vein running through the O’Mahony family on the Cork side of the border.
Happy special birthday today Paddy and here’s to many more.
*Bill Phil Whiskey
And, if you’re wondering what Bill Phil Whiskey is all about you can ask card players’ PRO John O’Connell.
It’s named after his Mountcollins grandfather and blacksmith, Bill Phill O’Connell – or you can click on the link here and read all about it: https://wdoconnell.com/bill-phil
Cards Results from the River Island Hotel
The following are the results of the card game held in the River Island Hotel on Sunday night.
1st. : John McMahon and Jack Kelly. 2nd.: Gene Guerin and John Kelliher.
Ladies: Kathleen McCarthy and Maureen Fitzgerald, Eileen Breen and Kathleen Herlihy.
Gents: Willie Woulfe and Joe Walsh. Mixed: Eileen and John O’Connell, Geraldine O’Leary and Seàn Enright.
Spots: Pat and Dom O’Donnell, Noreen Fleming and Ann Walsh, John Geaney and Ned O’Callaghan.
We would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a special thanks to the River Island Hotel for the use of the facility and to all who have made the weekly gathering the success it is.
Cards continue next Sunday night in the River Island Hotel at 9pm sharp.
Cordal Resource Centre Wednesday Night Cards Results
The following are the results of the card game held in the Cordal Resource Centre.
1st.: Helen O’Callaghan and Noreen Reidy, Mike and Diarmuid Shine.
2nd.: Jerry O’Donoghue and Tom Brennan, Johnny O’Callaghan and Dan Jones.
Ladies: Mary McGaley and Betty O’Connell. Gents: Joe O’Connor and Charlie Farrelly.
Mixed: Hannah Curtin and Johnny O’Connell.
Spots: Mike and Jimmy Kearney, Mick Leahy and Patrick O’Donoghue, James Dignan and Seamus McKenna.
Our next card game will be held on Wednesday, January 1st at 9pm sharp. We would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and see you all in the new year.