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Pat takes to the skies for his 90th birthday


THE SKY’S THE LIMITJohn Griffin chatting with Pat Walsh after he revealed he had gotten him a present of a helcopter ride above Achill Island for his 90th birthday.

Anton McNulty

AN Achill man had a birthday to remember when he took to the skies with a helicopter ride around the parish to celebrate his 90th birthday.
Pat Walsh from Currane, Achill turned 90 last week and to celebrate the Limerick-native’s significant milestone, his relative John Griffin organised for him to take an aerial view of Achill in a helicopter.
On Friday, June 14, the helicopter landed on Griffin Park community sports field in Currane to take Pat and his wife Treasa, née Gallagher; John, and his sister Patricia on a tour around Clew Bay and Achill.
The weather Gods were smiling on Pat as the sun shone on Currane and there was not a cloud in the sky, to give Pat a clear bird’s eye view of Achill in all its glory.
“Pat was never in a helicopter before and he had the time of his life,” John told The Mayo News following the flight.
“He was well up for it and was not holding back and was not one bit nervous considering it was his first time in a helicopter. The weather was glorious and we went out to Clew Bay and around Clare Island and down towards Achill and out to Achill Head and back again to Currane.”
John, whose mother Bridget Anne Gallagher was from Currane, went to national school for a period in Currane National School in his youth. He is the founder and Chairman of Addison Lee plc - a ‘minicab’ business in London and generously donated £3,000 towards purchasing the site where the Griffin Park sportsfield is now located. Pat and his family continued the birthday celebrations with a birthday dinner in the Bervie in Keel, with the Strawboys on hand to provide the entertainment. John said he was delighted to help celebrate Pat’s birthday and make it a special day for him and his family.
“Pat is a top fella and I was delighted to be able to do this for him on his 90th birthday. The day went really well and he enjoyed the helicopter flight. He got the taste of it now and you never know he might want to go and do it again,” he joked.