FUNERAL details have been announced for Laois farmer and former IFA president Padraig Walshe, whose sudden death has caused immense shock and sadness locally and nationally.
A prominent and highly regarded figure in farming and business circles for decades, he passed away on Wednesday 1 February, aged in his mid-60s. He will be laid to rest in his home town of Durrow on Monday.
His death notice today said: “Beloved husband of Ella and dear father to Julianne, Catherine, Elma and Pat. Deeply regretted by his loving family, his sister Breda, brothers Eamon and Seamus, daughter in law Chloe, sons in law Noel and Paul, brothers in law, sisters in law, grandchildren Hannah, Emma, William, Thomas, Padraig and Patrick, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and friends.
“Reposing at his residence from 12 noon on Saturday. with prayers at 8pm. Reposing also on Sunday from 12 noon, with prayers at 6pm. Removal to Holy Trinity Church, Durrow on Monday morning for Requiem Mass at 12 noon. Burial immediately afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.”
Widespread tributes have been paid to the Laois man who was passionate about farming and never stopped working to secure and promote its future. He also ran a successful dairy enterprise at Bishopswood, Durrow, with his wife Ella and son Pat.
A Nuffield scholar, Mr Walshe was president of the IFA from 2006 to 2010, having previously led Macra Na Feirme from 1987 to 1989.
He was also president of COPA, the European Farmers’ Union, from 2009 to 2011 and a past-president of the Irish Grassland Association, chairman of Farmer Business Developments PLC and a non-executive director of FBD Holdings.
He was elected IFA president in December 2005, taking over from John Dillon to become the 12th president of the association.
He was an avid follower of Laois GAA and The Harps and a big supporter of his son Pat, a hurler with Durrow-Cullohill.
Among countless tributes from a range of organisations, Nuffield Ireland chairperson Joe Leonard said: “Padraig was an exceptional leader for his fellow farmers and with Jim McCarthy was one of our pioneering Scholars in 1995. He had many friends in Nuffield Ireland and in the international organisation and will be sadly missed by all of us.”
“Over the years, as President of Macra na Feirme, of the Irish Farmers’ Association, of European farmers’ organisation COPA and as Chairperson of Farmers’ Business Development, he has worked tirelessly for the betterment of farmers and agriculture. He has truly embodied the Nuffield values of leadership, reciprocity and continuous learning, and been a solid supporter and promoter of the organisation. Ever generous with his time and experience he encouraged many scholars to be forthright and robust in our research and continuously challenging to the Irish Agri sector.”
“At this terribly sad time, our thoughts are with his wife Ella, and his children Julianne, Catherine, Elma and Pat. May he rest in peace.”