Paddy O’Brien, whose mother was Nellie Long from Aubane, who has crusaded tirelessly for the elderly for over six decades, who headed up the southern division of the Irish Heart Foundation for years, and who is also the driving force behind the hugely popular Over 60s competition, one of the largest talent shows for the elderly, has been named the Cork Person of the Year for 2010. He said he was stunned and humbled by the honour.
“Loneliness is still a huge problem among the elderly and that is one reason why I continue to run the Over 60s Show in communities all over the city and county, for the past 34 years,” he said.
He told guests that he became a voluntary social worker in 1953, when as a 14-year-old, he took a summer job as a “messenger boy”, and came across extreme poverty in inner city areas.
He began running errands for elderly people and later started organising social events. Support services were almost non-existent and Paddy became the voice of the elderly in Cork.
Over the past six decades he has led many campaigns for the elderly, which have led to the delivery of subsidised heating, improved access to medical care, improved housing, and extra social welfare entitlements.
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