Fond Personal Memories of Paddy Rhatigan RIP September 2017
There must be something in the water in Mullingar. Joe Dolan was really one of the greatest singers and performers that Ireland ever produced and Paddy was one the greatest nurses I ever met. Outstanding. He was an inspiration to me in a big way. One of those few people you meet that you want to be like.
I was very raw in 1998 when I came to Unit 3 in James Connolly hospital, Blanchardstown. ‘Mammy’ Mary Costello welcomed me like a loving mother and Paddy was like a very kind father to me. A strong character. No bullshit.
But also a very demanding father. I was a care assistant then and worked with him a lot with the men. He really put me through my paces. He was like a steam engine and he was not young at the time. He was past 65, I think. He had been a UN peacemaker in the Congo troubles in the ‘60s with the army. He was a great handyman and electrician. A great family man. A real hard goer.
He eventually encouraged me to become a nurse. He believed in me even though he was not blind to my weak points. A great mentor. A man’s man.
He was a really great nurse. For example, he used to re heat the dinners individually in the microwave before feeding the patients. He could not stand cold dinners being sent up. No trouble was too much for him for ‘his’ men.
He did not suffer fools. When he gave up cigarettes, he was not easy to be with. He was private and kept to himself at lunch time. A gifted nurse. Very dedicated to the patients and intolerant of any managerial codology.
The admin knew they could trust him but that was before the bullies got to work on him as they did to others too. He had to get out of Blanchardstown hospital eventually. Jealousy can be very toxic.
I pray now he will get Christ to give those bullies their due cum-up-pence now.
“Father, forgive them….” (Love your enemies, it will drive them crazy!)
He went to Lourdes every year with Meath Diocese. A deep river.
He got terribly badly injured in a car accident then and could no longer go.
I believe he suffered a lot. He is up there with Mother Teresa now, for sure.