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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Paddy Mulhall

60th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day

Commemorations

Carlow Nationalist, Thursday, May 19, 2005
 by Terry Reilly

A proud military tradition honoured as Paddy Mulhall stars in VE Day Commemoration.

This photo appeared in the Carlow Nationalist cMay 2005

Sent by 'Carloman'

Growing up on the streets of Carlow town in the 1950’s left few options in life for a youngster. Times were different and poverty reigned supreme among those living on the back streets.

Paddy Mulhall had it harder than most. His uncle and father both died in World War I and World War II respectively. Putting food on the table was the most pressing task of the day.

As was common in those days, Paddy left for England when he was just 16 to make a living. However, he never forgot the experiences of war and life in Carlow and how it affected his family.

“My father and uncle served with the Royal Irish Regiment in World War I,” he said.

“He was only 19 years old at the time and was discharged after suffering multiple gunshot wounds. My uncle was sent to Gallipoli and was involved in the battle of Achi Baba. He was shot through the spine and became a paraplegic.”

Three years later, Paddy’s uncle died of his injuries in No. 3 Bridewell Lane. His wheelchair arrived six months after his death.

“My father signed up again for World War II in the Royal Regiment of Artillery and fought in the Battle of Britain. He was killed when he was struck by a motorcycle walking across a road to catch a bus during a blackout. He hit his head on the kerb and died the following day.”

Life was tough for the Mulhall's. Paddy and his mother lived in 17 Castle Street (currently Barnardos Charity shop). In 1952 one of Paddy’s uncles came home and was shocked with the way the family were surviving.

“There was no work in Carlow at the time, my uncle came over and saw the situation we were in and took me back to England with him. I’ve never looked back since then.

“I had a colourful childhood - I remember times when lads would march their cattle right through the centre of the town. We used to get our food by poaching salmon and trout from the Barrow or net and snare.”

After four years in England Paddy’s life changed when he decided to continue the family’s long tradition in the armed forces.

“I was called up in 1956 to join the army and I served for two years in Germany during the Cold War. When I left I joined the emergency and served for 10 years with the 4th Battalion Essex Regiment.”

Paddy has since become a vital member of the organisation and was this year given the title of honorary life Vice President. Last week the proudest moment of his life arrived during the 60th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) day celebrations. He was given one of the highest accolades that a former service man could hope to receive.

“I was approached to be a standard bearer for VE day and I carried the Essex Regiment standard for the battalion past Whitehall. It was the proudest day of my life.

“We were given the freedom of the city to march through with our banners.

Paddy is proudly related to Tom ‘Muller’ Mulhall and Peter Walker from Carlow town.

Source: Carlow Nationalist, Thursday, May 19, 2005  by Terry Reilly


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