by ehistoryadmin on April 25, 2015

LEINSTER LEADER 12 November 1988

Death of Mr. Paddy Cox

The passing of P. J. Cox on Friday meant that Newbridge felt the loss not just of a prominent citizen but of someone whose name was synonymous with the town itself. Nor was his death a loss to Newbridge only, since Paddy Cox will be missed by many throughout Co. Kildare and the country at large, and not least within the world of greyhound racing. A native of the Newbridge area, Paddy took over the family grocery and public house and, with a business acumen which won him wide respect, built up the licensed premises and the grocery which, moving with the times, he transformed into a supermarket.

He later began a wholesale trade, extending the premises and finally building a new premises to house the wholesale “cash and carry” side of the business. A second supermarket was opened in Kildare town but in the midst of all this business development, Paddy was also overseeing and initiating progress in other areas. One of the major interests of his life was greyhound racing and he was responsible for the opening of the first local track (off main street), later proving the driving force behind the provision of the new track, built on his land. While serving as chairman and managing director of the Newbridge track, Paddy found time to breed many very successful greyhounds and he also owned a number of horses, placed with local trainers. The most successful of these was Cardy which won a number of races. In keeping with these interests, Paddy was closely involved with Bord na gCon and was its longest-serving member; he also served as chairman of Naas Racecourse Company for a total of twenty-four years.

Along with greyhound and horse-racing, his other enthusiasm was for coursing and he served as Irish Coursing Club president from 1960-1966. He had also been a director of the Sporting Press Ltd. and Powerstown Park and had served on the ICC executive for a very long period – from 1943 until last year. The news of Paddy’s death brought many tributes from the business and the sporting worlds. To those who dealt with him, he was a gentleman, but as those who knew him well were aware, the gentlemanly traits went far beyond mere politeness or diplomacy. To innumerable people in Newbridge and elsewhere, Paddy Cox was a loyal friend and helper who had the rare gift of spotting people’s needs and, if possible, filling them quietly. His generosity was never ostentatious but a great many people simply knew that if they turned to him, they would not be refused.

A deeply religious man, he frequently assisted the local church over the years. The huge attendance at his funeral on Sunday to St. Conleth’s Cemetery, following Mass in the parish church, which he loved so well, proved a glowing tribute to him and to his life. Aged seventy-eight, Paddy had been ill for some but his habitual cheerfulness was always in evidence and right to the end he never forgot his friends or their families. Paddy is survived by his wife Helen (daughter of the late Joe Osborne); his son Dermot who in recent years had taken over the business interests; daughter-in-law Anne and four grandchildren.

Pre-deceased by his brother and sisters, Paddy had been the last surviving member of his own family. Mourners travelled from throughout the country to attend the removal and funeral on Sunday morning; with the procession stopping briefly outside the family home in Kilbelin. Paddy Cox was a man who believed in getting quietly along with the business of life, but in the same way that he never forgot to think about others, he will not be forgotten either.

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