Paddy Vaughan 22/8/1923 - 7/12/2010
A few days ago my very special friend Paddy Vaughan passed away. He was 87 years old.
I will miss him dearly.
Passing by his house during the walk from the church to the graveyard, I realized I will never have the pleasure of spending time with this remarkable man in his 'organised cluttered' house.
Paddy was a writer, a teller of stories, a local historian, a reader of poetry, a friend to many, a man with a lovely twinkle in his eyes and the most wonderful eyebrows! A man who loved life and his town of Lismore.
Paddy was born in Lismore opposite the church. Behind the house is the forge belonging to his father- Paddy worked there too and was the last remaining blacksmith in town. His own house was a few doors further. The cemetery another few hundred yards away. His life was fully lived in the one street: Chapel Street.
In 1994, Paddy published his first book: The last Forge in Lismore. A story about his work in the forge- the people he met and a wonderful portrayal of a thriving business town.
For the past few years he has been working on the sequel: stories and memories about Chapel Street, the people who lived there and the changing social structures of modern Ireland. I can only hope that it was near completion and that the book can be/ will be published.
The forge is still in existence- although in need of some tidying up... A museum in the making?
We first met - according to Paddy- at an exhibition I had in the Library in 2004. An exhibition of art, poetry and the launch of the Fit to Fly Documentary. There were a lot of people there, I was still very much in the throws of M.E. and was in love... To my shame, I don't remember meeting Paddy.
While minding Lismore Gallery in the summer of 2008 Paddy came in and we started to talk about the history of the building. I very much enjoyed talking to him and we decided to meet up again. We did. Many, many times.
We talked about books, about writing, about life in the past, and life as it is now.
Paddy told me the history & stories associated with Ballynelligan while I was writing the Cirrus Chronicles- Landing in Ballynelligan.
I am proud to say that Paddy helped me launch this very book in November 2009. He started the night with words in Irish. A true Proud Irishman!
While working on the next story for the Chronicles- we shared a common interest: the life of Ms. Fanny Currey. Fanny Currey was an artist- writer- and owner of a Daffodil nursery in the 1880. My house is build on the land once used for the nursery. Her book was called : Prince Ritto (1887) illustrated by another Lismore artist, ms Helen O'Hara. ( I managed to get a photocopied edition from the National Library in the UK)
Paddy wasn't aware of Fanny Currey's writing... But... he had information that I didn't have! Every time we met this came up for "discussion". I can see Paddy's face: a big big smile and twinkling eyes.
We promised that whomever would be the first to publish our book would mention the other.
I am sad to say that it will be me who has "won" this game.
During the funeral mass his school pal, a priest for the past 60 years, told us about Paddy. Great memories were told, and lots of laughter heard in the (cold) church.
I am honoured to have had Paddy among my friends, and am honoured that I was invited, among many others, to the dinner after the funeral. I had the opportunity to be among his friends and family.
Rest in peace my dear friend.
a sample his very recent writing, given to me by his grand daughter Mary-Ann