Dundalk’s Paddy McGuinness wins Ireland’s Grandad of the year
Paddy McGuinness from Dundalk has won Specsavers’ Grandparent of the Year award for 2017, according to Evoke.ie. The devoted grandparent has had a special bond with his grandson James, who nominated him for the award, since he was a small child. James was born with disabilities but 76-year-old Paddy never let this hold his grandson back, even though the doctors did not give James a very positive prognosis.
Paddy used to sing to his grandson every day when he was an infant and soon James began to recognise the different songs and smiled when he heard his favourites. Paddy also helped James learn different parts of the body by asking him repeatedly to touch his nose, mouth and chin.
Paddy was also instrumental in helping James learn how to walk. James began to walk at three and a half years of age and Paddy took him on walking sessions to build up his strength and confidence. Even when Paddy grew ill with cancer, he still managed to take James for a drive.
At the awards ceremony, Paddy said “I know James will continue to overcome any limitations and obstacles he may face and continue to inspire those around him. I will be with him every step of the way.”
James’ mother Emma described the bond between Paddy and James as “amazing.” It is not surprising that this Dundalk grandad won over the judges, with the panel of representatives from Specsavers and Third Age Ireland saying they were inspired and heartened by this particular entry.
The aim of the award is to celebrate the extraordinary contribution that grandparents make to the lives of their grandchildren, as well as the wider community, and give them the recognition that they deserve.
Paddy received a trophy which was presented by legendary sports broadcaster Johnny Giles, a €750 hearing voucher and a family weekend break in Ireland. James also received an iPad.