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I've often seen Paddy feeding the ducks and seagulls across from King John's castle. I'm usually in my car on the way to work, but this morning I happened to be in town early so I had the opportunity to talk to him. Paddy is a fascinating character and told me some great stories. When he was just 15 years old his father died and he began working in the Limerick Docks, just like his father and his grandfather before him, in order to provide for his family. He worked there for the next 40 years. He told me how the work was back breaking - a ship full of coal once docked and they worked from 4am through until 6am the following day bagging the coal and unloading it. Barefoot.

Paddy was partly responsible for the new dock worker statue on the river front.

Paddy said he's "only a dock labourer but if I can help someone I will". He regaled stories of how people often judged him by his appearance to their detriment, but he still helped them. On one occasion he used his conections to help get a young student into university - she's now a doctor in America. This was not suprising, in the short time we were talking almost every passerby said hello. And if they were driving they beeped and saluted.