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Statement by President Higgins on the death of Pádraic de Bhaldraithe

Date: Tue 9th Jul, 2024 | 15:44

“It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of my long-standing and dear friend Pádraic de Bhaldraithe.

Pádraic was one of my closest friends from the time we were post-graduates at U.C.G. and what a great friend he was.

Full of a natural instinct for friendship and companionship he brought light, humour and a great courtesy to all occasions.  While he worked for much of his life in the education sphere, as a teacher, inspector and examiner, he also unstintingly gave his heart and soul to all the other shared areas of Irish life as well including traditional music, sailing and the protection of the seas and sea life.

Involved on a voluntary basis with coastal watch activities and with the protection of whales, dolphins and other sea creatures, he was sensitive to and protective of our oceans and for all its forms of life.

The craft of boat-building was an enduring interest of his.  He had a particular interest in the traditional sailing crafts of the west coast and indeed took part in many adventurous voyages in Galway hookers and other boats, both at home and abroad.

Interested in all of the issues involving the Irish language he was a campaigner for the rights associated with the language, and made a significant contribution as a freelance translator.

Pádraic was the essence of generosity in his friendships.  I was one of those to whom he gave so much help, advice and support over many years. I am pleased that I had the opportunity to visit him very recently in his illness. I will miss his friendship and he will stay in my mind for so many good reasons.

Sabina and I would like to extend our sympathy to his wife Máire, children and grandchildren, to his brothers and sisters, to all of his other relatives and many friends.”