Paddy Boyle obituary: Compulsive and successful entrepreneur

Boyle was blessed with that sharp eye for business and an uncanny ability to succeed

Paddy Boyle tried retirement in his mid 60s and when asked what he would do replied, ‘we’ll go on holidays for three weeks this year’ instead of the normal two.

Paddy Boyle tried retirement in his mid 60s and when asked what he would do replied, ‘we’ll go on holidays for three weeks this year’ instead of the normal two.

 

This article is one of a series about people who have died with coronavirus in Ireland and among the diaspora. Read more at irishtimes.com/covid-19-lives-lost. If you would like a friend or family member included in the series, please email liveslost@irishtimes.com

Paddy Boyle
1926-2020

In today’s business world Paddy Boyle would be considered a start-up entrepreneur. He was “quick to spot opportunities to open up a new market, or to turn an unpromising prospect into a thriving business”, recalls his son Sean.

Paddy started a string of successful small enterprises. He and his wife Pearl established The Furniture Store in Monaghan town in 1960 and supplied furniture, gas cookers and heaters, winning the prestigious Calor-Kosangas Dealer of the Year award in the mid-1970s.

He also took his entrepreneurial skills to the bar trade and refurbished a defunct country pub that reopened as the Three Mile Inn in Three Mile House, a village outside Monaghan town and contributed to the village’s revival. And long before the term became common parlance he created a gastropub with Andy’s Bar and Restaurant in Monaghan, a regular regional winner of the Black & White Whisky Pub of the Year competition. He gave the town’s venerable Oriel Hotel an extra lease of life and became a shareholder in a unique venture, Jimmy’s Ltd, the pub which was bought by its customers when the original Jimmy retired.

But it was in a different trade altogether than Paddy started his career. He completed his apprenticeship as a butcher. And it was this work that led him to Monaghan where he met Pearl Cadden while covering for another butcher who was away for two weeks.

Paddy was born into a family of five boys and two girls in Corglass, near Drumlish in north Longford where counties Cavan, Leitrim and Longford meet. His sister Kathleen and brother Jimmy survive him. At the time there were family aspirations that he would become a priest but Paddy had other ideas and left home.

He moved jobs to become an agent for Boland’s Bakery before his successful career as a start-up entrepreneur took off. Paddy and Pearl had two sons, Sean and Padraig. Sean points says that anyone who knew Monaghan between the 1950s and 1980s knew Paddy and Pearl.

“You didn’t even need to mention the surname, they were that well known around the town. He got a buzz out of starting up something and then once it was going, it wasn’t that he lost interest in it but it wasn’t as much of a challenge anymore. He’d go after something else. He’d sell it on and start something new.”

He tried retirement in his mid 60s and when asked what he would do replied,“we’ll go on holidays for three weeks this year” instead of the normal two.

But he came home bored and took on his final venture – the long-established Whelan’s bar on Glasslough street in Monaghan, which he transformed into a quiet and comfortable lounge.

Conscientious and focused

And after decades of developing pubs and restaurants, this was the first premises with his own name on it, Boyle’s Bar. He ran it until his mid 70s.

As a personality he was “very single-minded, conscientious and very focused on what he wanted to do”. He was generally a social sort of man but not an extrovert. “He did play some football in his youth but I can never remember him going to the pub by himself to meet his male friends. He was always with my mother,” says Sean.

“There was always some ambition that was driving him. He was very achievement oriented.”

He had an ambition to get a car when he was a young man in his 20s at a time when nobody from his station really had them and after that the family always had a car. “He wasn’t born with silver spoon in his mouth but he was always quietly determined to make his way in life.”

Paddy moved into Drumbear Lodge nursing home but only agreed to do so if Pearl, his wife of nearly 70 years, did too.

He was diagnosed with the virus and isolated on Good Friday, but died the following day April 11th aged 93. He was buried on Easter Sunday in the oldest part of Latlurcan cemetery in the town.

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